IF you live in Cwmaman, Carmarthenshire, you might be wondering why you pay more council tax than anywhere else in the county.
As well as the county council’s share of the bill, plus the Dyfed-Powys Police precept, there is also a Cwmaman Town Council precept. And for Band D council tax payers that precept is now £230.71p, more than any other town or community council.
But it wasn’t supposed to be. In January the town council agreed a 6.51% increase in the precept for 2023-24, but an error was made by the deputy clerk when she submitted the precept amount to Carmarthenshire Council, resulting in a 9.2% precept rise.
The deputy clerk realised her mistake and contacted the county council, but was advised that although the error could be corrected, additional costs would be incurred as all the council tax bills had been published and distributed.
In monetary terms, the precept for 2023-24 is just over £9,000 more than it should be. The new figure, factoring in the 9.2% increase, is £369,116. The figure for 2022-23 was £337,931.
To avoid the additional administration costs, the town council has now decided to stick with the published precept but is putting the accidental 2.69% increase into reserves. It will be used to offset any potential increase next financial year.
Draft minutes of the meeting said: “The deputy clerk informed the council that she had discovered that an error had been made when submitting the precept amount to the county. This mistake occurred before the current clerk came into post and had only recently been discovered by the responsible financial officer/deputy clerk, who is also new in post.
“The clerk and deputy clerk advised that going forward with the new officers in post, all figures will be checked closely before submission.”
Cwmaman, in the Amman Valley, comprises Garnant and Glanamman. The town council is involved with a number of projects, including one to celebrate the natural assets of the Amman Valley, and another to shred and remould waste plastic into new products.
Town and community council precepts for Band D council tax payers in Carmarthenshire range from £12.68 to Cwmaman’s £230.71. Kidwelly Town Council’s is second highest at £218.23p – its £310,000 precept amount is the same this year as last.