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September 27 2013.

Lewes District Council is asking residents about the fairest way to divide up the costs of looking after open spaces like playgrounds, parks and playing fields in the district.

Lewes District Council is aiming to be fair and transparent about the council tax it charges and what it pays for. At the moment some areas are looked after by town and parish councils and some by the district council. LDC wants to see whether there is a fairer way of distributing the costs.
Councillor James Page, Leader of Lewes District Council explains: "This is about a fairer system where people don't pay twice for the same open space, which, we estimate, 75% are doing at the moment. It is not about the ownership or maintenance of the facilities, or charging town councils extra. We want to see whether there is a simpler and fairer way of distributing the costs, so please take part in the consultation - an online survey, which is open until October the 31st."

The open spaces owned and maintained by Lewes District Council are not evenly spread throughout the whole district.

This means that the residents of some towns and villages are paying for both their locally owned open spaces, as well as those owned by the District Council which are not in their town or village.

How you pay for local services through your council tax bill
Lewes District Council collects council tax on behalf of East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, East Sussex Fire Authority, Lewes District Council and your local town or parish council.

The average band D council tax bill for 2013/2014 is £1,645.22 made up as follows:

East Sussex County Council £1158.30
Lewes District Council £192.48*

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner £138.42

East Sussex Fire Authority £81.86

Town & Parish (average) £74.16

It is the Lewes District Council portion of council tax £192.48* that LDC is referring to in this open spaces consultation. It is this figure that may go up or down following the results of this consultation.

The closing date is 31 October 2013 and the results will be considered by Cabinet at its meeting on 18 November 2013 to be held at 2.00pm in the Warren Room, Lewes House. 

To take part in the survey and to see details of proposed changes in the charges visit