Boundary review highlights neighbours' £90 tax difference
THESE neighbours live on opposite sides of the same Cotswold road in Baunton Lane.
Their bins and recycling are collected on the same day, and they enjoy the same levels of service from local authorities.
But those on the south side of the road, in the Stratton-Whiteway ward, pay £101.28 each year in council tax to Cirencester Town Council, while those on the north side come under Baunton Parish Council and as a result pay just £7.12.
Now Cirencester Town Council has said it wants to take over parts of neighbouring parishes as part of a boundary review.
The district-wide review could see areas of Preston, Siddington and Baunton falling under the town council’s remit if the plans are approved by Cotswold District Council later this year.
CTC wants the boundary expansion to reflect new developments at Kingshill, as well as future house building at Chesterton and Watermoor.
However, residents are not happy with the plans.
In a recent survey of Baunton Lane residents by Baunton Parish Council, found that homeowners were unanimously against any changes.
Resident Kenneth John England lives on the north side of the road.
"The boundary has traditionally been here so why change it?" he said. "Baunton would practically disappear if they took this road out."
Mystified neighbour Barbara Kaye added: "I can’t see what the advantages are. It will probably cost me more money. Why become part of a big conglomerate when we can stay rural?"
Over the Stratton border on the south side of the road, Rosie Stanley agreed.
"While I don’t think we should be paying more for the same services, I am all for keeping things the same if it will help to protect our green environment from development," she said.
In Siddington, residents currently pay £42.28 a year in precept to the parish council while in Preston it is £83.84 for a Band D property.
Cllr Joe Harris said having neighbours falling into different wards was "barmy".
He added residents opposed the idea because they were benefiting from the same services while paying lower council tax.
Cllr Margaret Rickman dismissed accusations that Cirencester Town Council was "empire building".
"We’re not empire building," she said. "These boundary changes are logical suggestions."
Town councillors have agreed to submit the proposal for boundary changes, which can be viewed online at cirencester.gov.uk
Draft plans are set to be agreed by CDC by February 26 and the public will then get the chance to have a further say on the proposals before final changes are approved by July 2013, and implemented in May 2015.