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Villagers in Stoke Poges stunned as parish council tax doubles
VILLAGERS in Stoke Poges have been left stunned by their council tax bills – with one authority increasing its charge by 107 per cent.
While most councils have frozen or increased bills by a few percentage points, Stoke Poges Parish Council has come under fire for doubling its budget.
Chairman Mark Fletcher said the council's precept has been well below average and there has been 'decades of under-investment'.
The rise means households in the village will pay an average of £92 to the parish council next year, up from about £45, swelling its revenue coffers from £90,000 to £186,000.
Councillor Fletcher said: “Our precept per parishioner is only one third that of Burnham's and half that of Gerrards Cross.
“With the likelihood of district and county services being reduced, even greater pressure will fall on the parish council to 'put right' missing or broken things, like the ramp at Bells Hill Shops.”
One parishioner, Dr Charles DesForges, said the council has 'defied' the spending restraint shown by others and he intends to challenge the council on the issue at their meeting next week.
Naomi Arnold, a former parish councillor who resigned last year, said many villagers are angry about the rise.
She added: "It's absolutely unprecedented to get this sort of increase. We stand out like a sore thumb in the list of parish precepts for South Bucks."
The parish council's tax bill forms a small part of the overall bill, most of which is paid to Buckinghamshire County Council.