Ollerton community questions why council tax is so high, citing potholes as a big problem

A Nottinghamshire community that already felt it was not getting value for money for council tax is angry about rises making it the most expensive in the country. Those living in Band D homes in Ollerton, will be paying the highest council tax in the country from April, at £2,324.

The rates differ for those in Band A, B and C properties. Residents say they are not happy with the roads and bin collection service among other things.

Resident Kate Ryan, 67, told Nottinghamshire Live she thought the charges did not reflect the standard of services the area received. She said: “I’d like to think we get value for money for why we are the highest but the roads are appalling, the collections have gone down in the past few years.

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“We both have pensions, council tax and heating. It’s probably going to wipe out one of our pensions in a month. I knew we were the highest in the area but not in the country.”

The lower the band, and more expensive the property, the more money the homeowner will have to pay. Those in Band H homes would therefore be paying the most, for example. The top 10 Band D (which the Government classes as the average) tax rates are Ollerton, Nottingham, Littlemore in Oxfordshire, Rutland, Bristol, Hastings, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Liverpool and Walsall.

Another Ollerton resident, Lee Bowers, who is 51, says that life will be hard with the rise in council tax. Mr Bowers said: “I suppose we have to accept it with everything that’s happening.

“It’s control and finances. We have to protect those on the lower end. It’s not surprising. It’s going to be tough. Personally we are lucky – I just think you have to protect those at the lower end. The bugbear is potholes – when people see the prices going up and then see the state of the roads.”

Keith Baker, who is 64 and retired, told Nottinghamshire Live that the costs and increase of the council tax need to be justified.

Mr Baker said: “If things are going up, with the fuel costs and transport costs. We need to justify the cost and increase of the council tax. We get our bins emptied but what else? What if it keeps going up and up. What expense is next? It’s a nice little village – nothing special in terms of facilities.”

Last year the Tax Payers’ Alliance described Nottingham’s council tax rise is “an above inflation rise, higher than any neighbouring areas”. But an expert explained the current Government regime is “inherently unfair” on Nottingham and emphasised “a huge number of councils are finding it difficult to do the budgeting.”

Speaking previously about why council tax continues to rise Professor Peter Murphy, a former senior civil servant come director of the Public Policy and Management Research Group at the Nottingham Business School, said: “Locally raised revenue from central Government grants have been falling in real terms for a number of years.

“It is a deliberate policy of the Government [for councils] to raise a bigger proportion of their income from council tax.” He added the council tax banding, which is judged by how much a property is worth, dates back to 1991, which he says is “pretty indefensible” considering how much values have increased since.