Government Consult on whether Parish Councils should be capped

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published the Local Government Finance Settlement Technical Consultation which includes proposals regarding council tax referendum principles for local parish and town councils.

  • The term referendum principles refers to the requirement to hold a local referendum if the proposed council tax increase exceeds a set threshold; the consultation is considering setting the threshold at which the referendum principles would take effect for a rise in precept of 2% or £5 per year, whichever is higher, as currently applied to principal councils.

    There are two important parts of the consultation affecting local councils:

  • Firstly the government is minded to extend referendum principles to a number of larger, higher spending local councils

  • Secondly the paper states the government is aware that increases in precepts continue to concern local tax payers and is therefore prepared to consider extending referendums to ALL parishes.



An example could be a small Council with a precept of 10,000 who wants to undertake a large project will only be able to increase the precept by £200 which is equal to 2%, without paying for a referendum. A referendum could cost many thousands, the same cost for an election.

This will also hit larger Councils in much the same way.

It is the opinion of the EALC that this will severely hamper Councils developing services and being able to deliver the wants needs and aspirations of their communities.


At the EALC AGM the following Motion was unanimously agreed by those present and voting.


Ways to respond - All Councils are asked to take part in this consultation process and to let the EALc Cheif Executive, know when a repsonse has been made.

Respond online


Email to:

Write to:

James Livingston
Department for Communities and Local Government
2nd floor, Fry Building
2 Marsham Street




Copyright Essex Association of Local Councils  2016