Parish Council Budget Consultation

by Denis Payne on

BudgetIn its current round of budget consultations the County Council has asked a number of questions, one of which is whether Parish Councils should do more to offset the reductions in County budgets.

Particularly in the light of this, the Parish Council would like to get the views from Council Tax payers in Histon and Impington on its spending.

The work of the Parish Council is largely funded by Council Tax – that’s money paid by each household and collected by South Cambridgeshire District Council. Some money comes in from fees for use of the Recreation Ground and Pavilion, from the civic Cemetery, and from interest on deposits – but by far the largest amount comes in from Council Tax.

For this year (2015/2016) the Parish component of Council Tax is £91.18 a year for a Band D property. The top band (Band H) properties would have to pay twice that (£182.36) and the bottom band (Band A) two thirds of that (£60.79). In all cases some households are eligible for discounts on the tax payable.

The Parish Council is particularly interested in your views on its work and spend in the following areas:

  • Youth
  • Older people
  • Highways
  • Environment
  • Recreation

If you are interested in the fine detail of the spend, and the spend in other areas, it’s available on theCouncil’s website. The report to Council on the Precept for 2015-2016 is also available.

What do we do now? And what does it cost?

What does the Parish Council do now? What does it cost? Band D annual cost per household
Youth

Employ a part time, term time only, Youth Worker and support staff for Youth Club sessions or organising appropriate activities for Junior and Senior ages (age 12 to 19)

Encourage liaison between IVC and the Youth Worker

Carry out outreach work in the community

 £8.70
Older people Part fund a part time Older People’s Co-Ordinator to:

  • signpost residents to appropriate advice centres or Council departments
  • Organise and deliver appropriate activities for older residents – e.g. After Stroke Club; Singing Group; Chair Based Activities
  • Co-ordinate trips to shops etc

Part fund a part time Mobile Warden to:

  • Visit elderly people on their list daily to check well-being and carry out simple tasks (there is a small charge to the resident for this service)
 £1.54
Highways Part fund (usually 10%) agreed and needed Minor Highways Improvements e.g. crossings, dropped kerbs, layout changes £3.12
Environment A wide range of issues are overseen including:

  • Grass cutting
  • Maintenance of the Burial Ground, set against income from fees
  • Allotment provision
  • Maintenance and improvements to open spaces e.g. The Green, Homefield Park, Manor Field
  • Maintenance of War Memorial and surrounds

Maintenance and planting schemes for trees in various locations, including The Copse and Coppice

£14.33
Recreation
  • Fund/employ groundstaff and admin staff to manage the Recreation Ground, New Road. Subsidise sports provision for a variety of sports clubs, set against income from fees.
  • Provide and support wide range of activities in Community Room at Recreation Ground
  • Provide and maintain play equipment e.g. The Green, South Road

Investigate new opportunities for recreation and leisure provision in a growing population

£36.76

 

Each year the Parish Council thoroughly scrutinises the plans for each area of the Council’s work, and, as an ambitious council looking to make a real difference for Histon and Impington, there is always more that we might do. And we could decide to do less in some areas so as to focus resources elsewhere.

Here’s some of the impacts that increases or decreases in spending in these areas could have.

Spending Increase or Decrease Probable impact on Parish Council work
Youth Increase Need to find premises for ongoing PC work; support for uniformed groups; fill in gaps in County provision
Decrease Support limited to a small number of regular sessions (eg yoga) and specific projects (eg graffiti, film)
Older people Increase More time for older person’s co-ordinator (and/or assistant); more support for village warden scheme; more events/groups; fill in gaps in County provision
Decrease Fewer groups; less time to aid people find help and resources
Highways Increase 20mph scheme; road layout changes; fill in gaps in County provision
Decrease Very limited schemes, if any
Environment Increase Filling in gaps in County/District provision (verges, litter picking etc)
Decrease Reduced litter picking/collection; reduced grass cutting; Xmas lighting cut; maintenance cut to safety levels; burial ground less tidy/less well maintained; fees increased
Recreation Increase More local resources for H&I sports teams and casual leisure
Decrease Higher charges for pitch and room hire; play equipment not upgraded/replaced when broken; reduction in pitch maintenance

 

Note that, as with all Councils and many employers, we are under financial pressure next year because of pension and National Insurance changes. An increase in budget will be necessary just to stay where we are.

Is that all clear? Then please go to the survey and let us have your views!

Many thanks