(April 1978) Council jottings

Having been persuaded to write a few lines from time to time about my years as a District Councillor, I start, not at the beginning (1946), but at April 1978. This is the month when the rate demand cones in and we look with trepidation to see “What do they want this time!” This year for the first time the water and sewerage rates will be demanded and payable to the Water Authority direct, and not to Cherwell council.

Local government today is very big business, illustrated by the fact that the annual turnover of the Cherwell council is more than £60nillion, and Cherwell is not large. For the first time since reorganisation we are able to reduce our rate demand from 10.02p to 9.60p for this coming year, but unfortunately the county council are increasing their demand by 5p which after deducting the domestic relief allowance of 18.5p in the pound, leaves a total new domestic rate of 65.10p in £.

May I draw the attention of ratepayers, whether they live in Council or private property, to the fact that they may well qualify for rebates; oddly, Cherwell has the lowest percentage (8.8%) of householders receiving rebate in England. If your income falls below the following ‘needs’ allowances, then you should apply to the treasurer for more information:—

a. Single person: £25.25 weekly ‘needs‘ allowance.

b. Married couple/ single parent family: £36.25 w.n.a.

c. For each dependent child: £6.10 w.n.a.

d. married couple, one of whom handicapped: £38.85 w.n.a.

There are other categories of need.

Information about rates and how they are used is included with the rate demand. Many I feel do not study these; for instance the highest expenditure of the county is over £69million on education (out of a total £107m).

If I can be of any help, please contact me: my phone number is Swalcliffe 361.

Lewis Poulton