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Fenland District Council hits back at reports that it costs more to live here than in Kensington and Chelsea


PUBLISHED: 11:27 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 11:27 16 January 2018
Kath Sansom

Fenland District Council hits back at reports that council tax is more expensive than the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Fenland District Council has hit back at reports that it is more expensive to live here than in Kensington and Chelsea.

A comparison of council tax costs for a band D property shows Fenland is more expensive than both the London borough and Cambridge.
However, a Fenland District Council spokesman said most people locally do not fall into council tax band D.
They also pointed out that services in rural areas cost more to run.
An FDC spokesman said tax payers get great value for money with a host of well run services like four leisure centres, well kept parks and good customer service.
“Our headline Band D council tax figure of £1,742 is misleading as most of our properties are below Band D,” the spokesman said.
Eight out of ten properties in Fenland are in band A to C so the average council tax paid is much lower.
Money from everybody’s council tax gets divided up, with some going to the county council, police and fire authorities, so from each household, FDC get just £166. “great value for the range of services provided,” the spokesman added.
“Council tax has risen by 5.7 per cent compared to inflation of 16.8 per cent.
“The council is in a unique position of rural and one of the lowest lying areas in the UK. We have to pay drainage boards £1.4 million a year, making up 11 per cent of our annual expenditure, just to keep our feet dry.
“We are a statutory Port Authority, we have to provide navigation and marine safety for River Nene.
“We are a rural area covering 210 square miles – refuse vehicles have to travel further.”
“We run four leisure centres with three swimming pools providing a great service that 98,000 customers value.
“Four customer service centres and hubs help 71,000 customers a year, Golden Age Fairs help over 60s to discover £800,000 of unclaimed benefits.
“We spend £560,000 a year maintaining our parks and open spaces for all to enjoy, including 44 play areas, and a further £520,000 on street cleansing.”
Other highlights they say, are free car parking when 94 per cent of councils charge and two business centres to support local firms.
“We are a well-run, efficient council with 98 per cent satisfied with refuge and recycling service, 99 per cent satisfied with street cleansing.
“The housing team saved 106 families from homelessness and offered advice to 1,580 other households.”
Average property price council tax bills are:
• Fenland £1,133.23.
• Cambridge £1,343.08.
• Kensington & Chelsea £1,207.71.
Source: Camb Times