AN EXTRA 59p a week council tax in Littlemore could pay for a dedicated community worker, it has been claimed.

Calls have been made to double the parish council tax precept to raise more cash for the neighbourhood.

Oxford Mail:

Pat Good

Most people in Littlemore live in council tax band C homes, meaning the parish council could raise an extra 59p a year.

Oxford City councillor for the area John Tanner put forward the idea as a way of giving the area a financial boost.

He said: “That would give us up to £50,000 extra a year to spend on projects of all kinds.

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“One such thing could be a community worker, which lots of other areas have but which we don’t. They would be able to support people in the area and help run all sorts of events and things for young people.

“It would also provide a lot more for us to operate the village hall and the community centre as well and to look after the village green.”

In October 2009, Rose Hill got a dedicated community worker through Oxford Citizens Housing Association.

Although local authorities, such as the city council and county council, cannot raise their bit of council tax by two per cent or more without a referendum, there is no such requirement on parish councils.

Village hall committee member and David Nicholls Close resident Pat Good said she supported the idea in principle.

She said: “Littlemore needs help. We struggle to get things going and we can struggle to get funding. It would be good to have someone, like a community worker, who could help us with that and to help to co-ordinate things in the community. We are getting a lot of new housing built at the moment and I do not see much of the people who live there.

“Also there is not enough for young people to do so maybe a community worker could change that.

“People are not very happy to give their money, but I think if they knew what a community worker could do they would be more prepared to pay.”

And Bodley Road resident Hilda Beesley, 87, said the money might be better spent on things other than a community worker.

She said: “There are lots of other things that need done.

“I think the money would be well spent on other things like a new play area for the children.

“I am not sure if people would be prepared to pay.”

Mr Tanner added: “I will be raising this issue on the parish council at the next meeting in April. It is up to the people what they want to do.

“The amount of the overall tax that goes to the parish council is so small that if we put it up to about £1 a week I think most people would say it is a good thing.”