Would a town council cost Rother a lot?

Having a town council would cost Rother almost nothing: the cost of the initial election would be charged to the new council and creating the town council would be a negligible cost to Rother.

Furthermore, having a town council is likely to save Rother money, as it could free up some of Rother’s expenditure if the town council takes over any of its services; this would have to be agreed by the elected Bexhill Town Councillors and Rother itself. Rother is currently cutting services year on year due to the ongoing loss of central government grants which are dropping this year by a massive four fifths, from 570k to 110k in April 2018, and will have gone completely by 2021. The town council could help to replace services at risk.

But what about the cost for me?

Rother estimates that the extra cost on the council tax would be 12p per household per week, assuming a running cost of £ 100,000. When divided by a tax base of 16,200 “band D” equivalent Council taxpayers, this means £ 6 per year per band D” household. It would be even less for people in the lower bands because of their circumstances. D4B estimates this running cost would be slightly higher at 15p per week per Band D household, on a running cost of £ 126,000. This is assuming that the town council would be based in rented shop front premises in Bexhill town centre, and councillors would not be paid.

Beyond the basic costs, Bexhill town councillors might wish to provide services that are in demand, such as a youth club, more support for charities, a project to help the isolated and lonely, evening transport, a housing advice centre or a town improvement project, and these would have to be paid for.

But remember, the cost would be shared among the 44,000 residents, and Bexhill town councillors would probably be very aware of the need to use money wisely and not introduce a service that is not needed. Also, there are other sources of money, not just the council tax. These include the Coastal Communities Fund, financed by the National Lottery at no cost to the taxpayers of Bexhill and the Community Infrastructure Levy which is a levy on developers building new homes.

You will find the detailed costings here:  Bexhill Town Council first year costs 20171029

D4B’s figures have been partly reviewed by the Sussex & Surrey Associations of Local Councils as well as the Town Clerk of Rye.

Clarification or further information available from Paul Courtel on 07712 178 546 or paul.courtel@btinternet.com



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