Council Tax – Houghton Regis Pays More
By Chris Slough
“So who knows, maybe next year we will beat Ampthill and come top of the CBC league table with the highest Council Tax bill in the County!”
As the Council Tax bills drop through the letter box we discover that once again only in Ampthill do they pay more Council Tax than the residents of Houghton Regis. All the affluent towns and parishes in well-off Central Beds pay less than us. Now there is more than one reason our Council Tax is high, but the only practical way we can keep it down is by spending more wisely so we get better value for our money. Over the last 4 or 5 years, the Labour Team on the Town Council has put forward a budget usually about 10% lower than the one passed by Lib Dems, CIA and Independents. Each time we have argued that we can preserve the services that benefit residents themselves, whilst reducing the budget. We only ever disagree with other councillors when we think they are spending money unwisely, such as when they spent out on a diseased tree, mayoral robes when we have no tradition of wearing them and uniforms for councillors to wear at events when high vis jackets are cheaper and do the job just as well.
Meanwhile, the Lib Dems, CIA and Independents plan to buy or build new Council Offices, even though the officers who work in them say they are not needed. We are informed every million pound they borrow will put around £80,000 on the precept – that’s the bit of the Council Tax the Town Council demands. So who knows, maybe next year we will beat Ampthill and come top of the CBC league table, with the highest Council Tax bill in the County!