Tax rise because of site purchase

I READ with interest the letter regarding the precept for Seaton Valley Council (News Post Leader, April 12).

I, too was quite shocked at the increase in precept for the 2012-13 council tax bill.

What I think residents don’t realise is that most of this is because of the council purchasing the former HSBC premises in Seaton Delaval where they plan to run their base from.

This is a debt the parish council will be saddled with for 25 years.

There is the cost of the premises, and the cost of the improvements to bring them up to standard, and also the employment of additional staff.

Quoted from “Seaton Valley Parish Council is facing being lumbered with a £350,000 debt – likely to total £537,500 with interest – for a building it feels compelled to take on so it can keep on top of its increasing workload.”

I realise there was a small awareness of this in residents who attended various meetings over the year, but this cost of purchase was not mentioned in figures in the newsletter that coincidentally landed on the doormat on the same day as the council tax bill, just that it had become necessary to purchase the premises.

I believe if residents had have been given the figures, and it was fully explained about the costs, it wouldn’t have gone ahead and I don’t believe we were fully consulted about this.