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Cambridgeshire parish council explains 91.3pc precept increase

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A parish council has explained why it needs to raise its parish precept for the coming year by a whopping 91.3 per cent.

Elm Parish Council near Wisbech says the extra cash is urgently needed to replace 41 street lights.

The village – population of around 4,000 – will raise an extra £30,000 by the increase.

Elm Parish Council near Wisbech says the extra cash is urgently needed to replace 41 street lights.

Elm Parish Council near Wisbech says the extra cash is urgently needed to replace 41 street lights.

Parish clerk Suzanne England said: “To clarify  it is due to the fact that 41 of our streetlight assets have been identified as ‘at the end of their useful life’ and therefore present a health and safety risk.”

She said the parish council had made the decision to replace/upgrade the assets at a cost of approximately £80,000 (this includes not only the assets but also connection charges raised by UKPN).

“The alternative would be to remove the lights permanently; feedback from parishioners suggests that this would be unwelcome,” she said.

“The council has partially absorbed the cost of the project by diverting funds from other reserves.”

Suzanne added: “Looking at the schedule of precepts for surrounding parishes, Elm is still at the lower end of the scale; £47.73 per Band D property against an average of £53.03.

“In fact, the average for the comparable parishes of Leverington. Wisbech St Mary, Doddington, Wimblington and Manea is £64.22.

“Taking this into account, I believe the services/amenities provided by Elm Parish Council will continue to represent good value for money as we move forward into the new financial year.”

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