In this years Council Tax Bills, there is a section titled “Parish Precept and Special Expense". The Focus team, like many, were puzzled by this so we looked at the council website and it appears that the Special Expense charges “are made in relation to the costs of maintaining open spaces and Christmas lights within the borough unless the area is covered by a local town or parish council.”

We estimate that for Newton and Hoole this charge raises around £25,000 per year.

Currently your local elected representatives have no direct control over where this is being spent because Newton & Hoole does not have a parish council.

Noel McGlinchey says, “If this money was controlled by a Parish Council in Newton & Hoole it could make such a big difference to the funding of Hoole Christmas Lights, Limewood Fields play area and the toilets at Hoole Alexandra Park. At the moment we just don’t know what it is being spent on”

Mark Williams says, “Residents are being short changed. If we had a Parish Council we could choose to reduce this Special Charge to zero or, if local people decided democratically, we could use this money to improve amenities in the ward.”

Newton & Hoole Lib Dems believe in putting power on how your area is run back into the hands of local residents. We think that local residents should have a say in how much they are taxed for local amenities and that local money should be kept within the local area.

If you elect Mark Williams and The Focus Team, Ellie Hopgood and Noel McGlinchey on May 2nd they will make it a priority to start the legal process to establish a Newton & Hoole Parish Council.

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