The news for Herefordshire households on their council tax bill for the year from April has just got a bit worse.

Residents already facing the maximum permitted 5 per cent increase in the “core” council tax, which goes to Herefordshire Council, now face even higher rises in the so-called precepts they pay with the tax to cover police, fire and other local services.

According to a report prepared for a full meeting of councillors next Friday (March 3), which is expected to agree the tax-raising package, households in a typical band D property will pay £264.50 to West Mercia Police, an increase of £14.84 or just under 6 per cent over the current sum.

The same property will pay £94.40 to Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority, an increase of £5.00, or 5.6 per cent.


In all, the sums are expected to raise £18.8 million for police and £6.7 million for fire services in the county.

A further addition to the council tax is the “parish precept” which pays for services provided by parish or town councils, the latter tending to be higher.

The town with the highest parish precept is Leominster, where band D residents will have to fork out a further £181.69 on top of their main council tax, followed by Ledbury on £179.65, Bromyard on £167.44, and Eardisland on £167.32.

The parish that has shown the highest precept increase is Acton Beauchamp, up 65 per cent to £61.69, while the Border Group parish council, covering a rural area between Leintwardine and Presteigne, managed a 7 per cent cut, to £25.84.

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Hereford city has kept its precept the same, at £56.86.

The city council said: “We’re committed to maintaining services such as our community grants, running the tourist information centre, hosting city events such as the Christmas Lights Switch-On, and much more.

“However, we also know that residents of Hereford are facing challenging economic times, as is much of UK. City councillors therefore resolved to keep the city council’s council tax precept at the same amount.”

Much Birch has the county’s lowest parish precept, of £15.86, though a handful of smaller “parish meetings” set no precept at all.

The average for the 130-plus parishes in the county is £75.53.

The rises mean that the average household will pay £1,862 all told, that being the roughly £132 million the council aims to bring in, divided by a notional 71,000-odd tax-paying households in the county.

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