South Holland District Council offices.

Clarity requested on Spalding rate

The committee that oversees how Spalding’s proportion of council tax is spent has asked for more clarity.

The precept Spalding residents pay towards the town is being increased by 5.7 per cent, which had already been backed by South Holland District Council’s cabinet even before the Spalding Town Forum met on Thursday, February 15.

The forum, set up as Spalding has no town council, usually only meets quarterly but initiated the special meeting to discuss the events.

During it they asked for council officers to provide a more detailed breakdown of where the money is spent in future years.

Coun Graham Dark summed it up by saying: “I find it difficult to scrutinise as there’s not a lot of detail.
“The expenditure on the Sir Halley Stewart Field has gone up £3,000 but it doesn’t say why.”

Chair of the forum Jack McLean told the meeting that he’d had to seek assurance at what the £750 listed as the “Chairman’s contingency” was for.

He has since been informed it’s for anything that the chairman feels it could be spent on and the forum vowed to look to possibly spend it on this year’s Christmas Tree.

It would be on top of the £9,900 of the expenses allocated for the town’s Christmas decorations.

On the 5.7 per cent increase to the Spalding Special Expense, Coun Peter Coupland, South Holland District Council’s portfolio holder for finance, told the meeting: “There’s 25 parishes in Spalding and Spalding is in the bottom five in terms of precept. It’s nothing.

“There’s only Surfleet Parish Council which is virtually self-sufficient and a couple of others with a higher precept.

“The average rise across South Holland is under ten per cent discounting Pinchbeck (who increased it by 130 per cent).”

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