VILLAGERS could be hit by a 21 per cent hike in their council tax precept if a parish council does not find up to £70,000 for urgent repair work of a car park.
Leafield Parish Council says the village hall car park is in an extremely bad condition after being damaged by poor weather and drainage problems.
It has warned unless it gets government funding or enough in donations it could have to add 21 per cent to the precept and continue to charge the additional amount for the next 15 years.
The current parish council tax rate for a Band D property in Leafield is £69.72 but this would increase to £84.36 under the proposed change.
Leafield Parish Council member Luke Caunt, who is overseeing the project, said: “We’re hoping we can raise the money elsewhere through grants and donations but if not we will have to look at raising the precept.
“We obviously don’t want to impact too much on people’s ability to pay. We wouldn’t pass on an unreasonable cost and if the impact is too high the project won’t go ahead.
“But it’s very important to the village because it is used by lots of people and without the car park the village hall would suffer.
“We really need a white knight to come in and rescue us.”
The council, which has had the area professionally surveyed, has issued a public appeal asking for donations. These would pay for a new hard-wearing surface and improve drainage outside the village hall, which is used by community groups and has a popular children’s play area. It said it will give £2,000 towards the project and is expecting to receive about £5,000 in donations and pledges.
Mr Caunt said: “We need to explore the fundraising possibilities before we explore the impact of council tax.
“The alternative is temporary repairs to keep it going but this would need to be done each year, whereas our project is something which will last for 20 years.”
Villager Anney Harris, who has used the hall for social events, pilates classes and a gardening club, said she would be willing to pay more council tax to get the problem solved.
She said: “I don’t see much of an alternative because it has to be resurfaced, otherwise someone’s car is going to be damaged in the potholes.”
- To make a donation, contact parish clerk Helen Fallows on 07926 499772 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.