Three reorganised Parish Councils in Solihull have come under attack by the Towns Ratepayers Association and Taxpayers' Alliance activists in the local press.
When Residents were asked to vote for a reorganisation of the old Hockley Heath Parish in Solihull into three separate Parishes they could have had no idea what a financial disaster it would turn out to be.
But they now have to pay for three Parish Clerks instead of one and many more Parish Councillors who are often co-opted as there is insufficient public interest for an election.
Parish Council Tax is an additional Precept that the District Council is legally required to collect with its own Council Tax Bill and is intended to cover modest additional local services such as a Village Green and a few benches etc.
Parish Council Taxes were historically very modest sums but will come as shock to a lot of Hockley Heath Residents when they get their Council Tax Bills from Solihull in April. The Parish Charge goes up 89% to £94.22 at Band D on top of the £28 (2.2%) increase from Solihull itself.
Over at Dickens Heath the Parish Tax rises to £44.34 but this is a massive 116% rise and surely in the current climate such increases are at best irresponsible and cannot possibly be justified.
The one saving grace comes in the third section of Cheswick Green where Residents actually get a 5% reduction but they will still pay £46.63 and bear in mind that many householders don’t get any benefit from the Parish Council or understand what it does.
Trevor Eames, Secretary – Solihull Ratepayers Association