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North Derbyshire parish council defends 93% tax precept increase North Derbyshire parish council defends 93% tax precept increase
(about 2 hours later)
Creswell residents packed into the small meeting room to hear what the council had to sayCreswell residents packed into the small meeting room to hear what the council had to say
Angry residents hit out at an increase in their council tax precept of 93% to fund a shortfall in building a gym and called the rise "disgusting". Residents have expressed anger after problems with building a leisure centre led to their council tax precept rising by 93%.
Elmton with Creswell Parish Council in Derbyshire increased their portion of residents' council tax from £14.37 to £27.74 a month for a Band D property. Elmton with Creswell Parish Council in Derbyshire has increased its portion of residents' council tax from £14.37 to £27.74 a month for a Band D property.
Dozens packed into a small meeting room to hear the council defending the rise.Dozens packed into a small meeting room to hear the council defending the rise.
Chairman councillor Duncan McGregor told the BBC: "It's unfortunate, we don't take any glory in it." Council chairman Duncan McGregor told the BBC: "It's unfortunate, we don't take any glory in it."
Costs in building Creswell Heritage and Wellbeing Centre has left a financial deficit to the councilCosts in building Creswell Heritage and Wellbeing Centre has left a financial deficit to the council
In a lively exchange between the chairman and residents during public questions, Mr McGregor said Creswell Heritage and Wellbeing Centre was "what the public asked for".In a lively exchange between the chairman and residents during public questions, Mr McGregor said Creswell Heritage and Wellbeing Centre was "what the public asked for".
But many who berated the councillors throughout public questions said they were not properly consulted on the tax rise.But many who berated the councillors throughout public questions said they were not properly consulted on the tax rise.
One man in the meeting said the precept rise was "disgusting" and that it took away his increase in his state pension. One man in the meeting said the precept rise was "disgusting" and it took away his increase in his state pension.
Another woman said the facility was being paid for by people who could not afford to access it.Another woman said the facility was being paid for by people who could not afford to access it.
Councillors on Elmton with Creswell Parish Council voted eight to one in favour of the precept rise at a previous meetingCouncillors on Elmton with Creswell Parish Council voted eight to one in favour of the precept rise at a previous meeting
Documents show a forecasted deficit on the construction stood at £147,000 and will require a loan from Bolsover District Council.Documents show a forecasted deficit on the construction stood at £147,000 and will require a loan from Bolsover District Council.
The yearly precept for a Band D property now stands at £332.95 - up from £172.50.The yearly precept for a Band D property now stands at £332.95 - up from £172.50.
Christina Adams, 71, from Creswell, called the precept increase "shocking".Christina Adams, 71, from Creswell, called the precept increase "shocking".
Mrs Adams told the BBC: "They're not in the leisure industry; they should be looking after the facilities they have already got.Mrs Adams told the BBC: "They're not in the leisure industry; they should be looking after the facilities they have already got.
"But they're not being well maintained because the money is going on this new build.""But they're not being well maintained because the money is going on this new build."
Councillor Duncan McGregor defended the precept increaseCouncillor Duncan McGregor defended the precept increase
The parish council chairman said Covid, the invasion of Ukraine and the company building going bust all added to the spiralling costs. The parish council chairman said Covid, the invasion of Ukraine and the building company going out of business all added to the spiralling costs.
He conceded it was a tough meeting and sympathised with the residents.He conceded it was a tough meeting and sympathised with the residents.
"We find difficulty to meet our [financial] requirements because of the leisure centre plus funding for the staff... that whacked [the precept] up."We find difficulty to meet our [financial] requirements because of the leisure centre plus funding for the staff... that whacked [the precept] up.
"We had no option; we already borrowed the money to comply with that, and we only continued to build that centre in the first place because the public asked for it."We had no option; we already borrowed the money to comply with that, and we only continued to build that centre in the first place because the public asked for it.
"[The rise] was rationale with the reasons as to why the parish council took the decision that they did." "[The rise] was rational with the reasons as to why the parish council took the decision that they did."
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