'We have the second-highest precept after Stallingborough'
THE village hall project has been plagued with controversy, and triggered a petition from residents calling for the village council to be abolished.
Although North East Lincolnshire Council last week decided against dissolution, it criticised the village council for a lack of transparency over its handling of the project.
In two referendums on the issue, villages voted overwhelmingly against the village council taking out a £300,000 loan in order to fund the new facility. The council's subsequent decision to plough ahead with the project prompted the 700 signature petition.
Ray Lawrance, chairman of the Great Coates Residents' Association (Grass), which led the campaign for abolition, described the 25 per cent increase to the precept as "unacceptable".
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He said: "A 25 per cent increase is a whacking great increase by any stretch of the imagination, especially when local authorities are restricted to council tax increases of 3.5 per cent.
"The comparison with 2010/11 is not a fair one, because they had to increase the precept that year when they borrowed £50,000 for the planning process on the village hall.
"This year, we have the second-highest precept after Stallingborough, and next year it looks like we will be top of the pops again thanks to the extravagance of this village council."