CHALFORD parish councillors are concerned residents will blame them for an increase of over £6 a year to their council tax bills.

The council has set its precept for the coming year at £120,090 - a 6.5 per cent increase from last year.

On the council tax bill however, it appears as a 13.3 per cent increase on a Band D property which is an increase of £6.05 for the whole year.

Chris Ellis, chairman of Chalford Parish Council, said: "We want to assure our parishioners that this additional increase is not due to the actions of Chalford Parish Council but to changes in national policy over which we have no control."

Chalford parish clerk Christine Prince explained that the Government's plans to abolish council tax benefits and replace it with a new local tax support scheme means there will be fewer properties from which tax is collected, resulting in a council tax increase.