A CONCERNED village resident has accused a parish council of “verging on the immoral” after notices detailing a tax hike of 367 per cent in the past 14 years were taken down.

The Goodworth Clatford parishioner recently put signs up across the village with precept figures for Band E properties since 2004 and by the next day they had been taken down, allegedly by the parish council.

The posters were reinstalled on telegraph posts and notice boards, and again within days they had been taken down because, they say, the parish council does not want people seeing how much the precept has increased in recent years.

Concerns have been raised as the council is proposing to purchase the park and old cricket field, which it is feared could reduce financial reserves it has from a previous sale of land.

“367 per cent in 14 years is a huge amount and I am concerned that if they get rid of their reserves that it will increase tax year on year,” the resident said about the decision to publicise the parish council’s precept figures.

“Most people in the village probably wouldn’t realise how much the precept has gone up in recent years.”

The notices detail that since the 2004/05 financial year the parish council’s share of the council tax bill has gone up from £12.28, gradually increasing to £26.08 in 2011/12 then jumping to £43.85 in 2012/13 and continuing to increase to £57.37 for this financial year coming.

The posters then compare those figures to Test Valley Borough Council’s proportion of the council tax bill which has risen by 44.5 per cent over the same time period from £115.39 to £166.72.

Describing their anger at the signs being taken down, the parishioner continued: “I think it is verging on the immoral because they don’t want people to look at it and see how much it has gone up.

People have the right to have their say.”

The Advertiser did approach Goodworth Clatford Parish Council chairman Bob Houghton for comment about whether it was the council who took the notices down and the reasons for the precept increase.

He declined to comment.