Statement on Council Tax

HRG protect services while keeping council tax rise to 12p per week – why it makes sense to restore the Town Council’s share of council tax.

The Town Council’s tax income for services has been cut every year in real terms since 2014. We are saying it should be restored to its original level to help make up for service cuts by the District and County councils. And remember this is only for the small part of council tax that goes to Henley Town Council: the increase is just 12 pence a week for a Band D household.

But for the Town Council these pennies add up to £37,500 a year. This helps the Council continue the services cut by the District and County councils – services like the Family Centre, the Bluebells day care service, Headway, the bus service and the Town Manager’s help for businesses and tourism.

And this will still leave Henley’s council tax as by far the lowest among the South Oxfordshire towns – 40% less than the level in Thame.

Henley Residents Group is committed to protecting Henley’s revenue and its services.

If instead the Conservatives want to keep cutting the Town Council’s tax income in real terms, they need to explain how they will avoid cutting our services. Spending the Town Council’s investments on day-to-day operation is financially unsound.


Councillor Jane Smewing
Chair, Finance Strategy and Management Committee
Henley Town Council
8th January 2018


Inflation (RPI) since the precept went up to £87 in 2014 has been 7%. So this change restores the real value of the precept since then, and is equivalent to just £6.09 per year for a Band D home.

And although the change is 7% of Henley’s current £87, it’s 0.36% of the total council tax, currently £1714.11 a year.

The Town Council’s investments bring in an income of £160,000 a year. If these investments were all spent, council tax would have to rise by 30% to replace the lost income.

At the new rate of £93.09 a year, Henley’s precept will still be significantly less than other towns, which this year are:

  • Wallingford: £118.95
  • Watlington: £105.37
  • Thame: £145.35

This measure will bring the council an extra £37.5K a year which starts to cover the SODC cuts (Town Manager, Council Tax Reduction Scheme, Tourist Information) and OCC cuts (grass cutting, weed killing, bus subsidy, Children’s Centre, Bluebells dementia provision) and even Clinical Commissioning Group cuts (Headway).