‘Special expenses’ review seeks fairer approach

Published Wednesday 12 December 2018

The funding of some public parks and other local facilities through council tax – referred to as ‘special expenses’ - has been reviewed by the District Council to ensure fairness and transparency.

Special expenses are applied in the Harborough district when Harborough District Council provides a service which is provided in other areas by a town or parish council - for example play areas, recreation grounds, and cemeteries. This does not occur in all parts of the district, so in the interests of fairness, the cost of this service is met by taxpayers of the town or parish where the service is provided – hence the term, ‘special expense’.

play area

Councillors approved the revised policy at a meeting on 10 December 2018. As a result, the combined amount of special expenses paid by district taxpayers has been reduced by approximately £60,000.   

The revised policy includes a modest Special Expenses charge to four new areas, Broughton Astley, Fleckney, Great Glen and Scraptoft and an update of the charges to existing areas, such as Market Harborough which do not have a Town Council.

Councillor James Hallam portfolio holder for Finance and Assets said: “We have some fantastic council-owned parks, and recreation spaces which are used regularly by local people but maintained – at considerable expense – by the council. It’s important that communities continue to benefit from these facilities and I am pleased that this review looks to ensure a fairer and more consistent approach for all across the whole district.”