Setting up Working Parties follows the adopted policy for this matter published elsewhere on the Parish Council web site.
Current working parties are The Bus Gate Working party and the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.
The next budget and precept working party will be set up in November 2016. The notes from the budget setting meeting last November follow.
West Monkton Parish Council
Report of Budget/Precept Working party 25th November 2015
Attended by Cllrs Day, Ellis, Gage, Tully.
Apologies received from: Cllr Cavill (at TDBC meeting) Cllrs Besley, Haskins (business), Cllr Thompson (training).
Based on the monthly Financial Sheet, the outrun to the year end was drafted. This shows a carry forward of £25955. Projects not yet realised, with funds accumulating, includes the clock for the public open space behind the new school, street furniture and bus shelters for the Monkton Heathfield Urban Extension, and as yet unidentified further needs of the Urban Extension.
It is acknowledged that as funds from government are reduced, so SCC and TDBC will have to make cuts to services they have previously provided. Consequently they will wish to devolve additional responsibilities to the community. It is the intention of the Parish Council to be in a position to provide essential services, where required, in order to maintain the Parish as a well ordered and fully functioning place, which provides an attractive environment for all the community that resides within the Parish. This poses some interesting challenges to set up additional small new initiatives so essential to enable the new community to develop and integrate.
The budget for next year 2016/2017, and the future planning through to 2019 has attempted to put a cost on the various initiatives. Forward planning beyond 2019 has not been addressed, at the moment, as there are too many variables for this to be a reliable exercise. However, the forward planning serves to indicate future requirements and opportunities to serve the growing community of the Parish of West Monkton.
Of particular note is the Parish Council’s initiative, jointly with Cheddon Fitzpaine Parish Council, to form a Neighbourhood Plan, which will have a role in the future planning of the area and allow the production of a strong local Regulation 123 list to guide the use of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL money),and enable us perhaps to attract additional funding for the benefit of the Parish. The regulation states that CIL money received must be spent on funding the provision, improvement, replacement, operation, or maintenance of infrastructure; or anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area. The production of the Neighbourhood Plan can be supported by grant assistance from government: however, Parishes are required to put a certain amount of the funds ‘up front’. Accordingly £15,000 has been allowed in the budgets of the two parishes, (split WM 2/3 to CF 1/3). So West Monkton’s budget shows £10, 000 for each of the next two years. Once the Neighbourhood Plan is approved, the NP costs should reduce very significantly.
The other significant item is the Parish’s wish to mark some of the Public Open Space in the Urban Extension in a unique way. For instance, the Parish Council has prepared the initial costing for a clock that has been considered for the POS behind the new Primary School. The Parish Council has ensured that the appropriate planning conditions are in place. As this is a significant project for which the Parish Council does not have sufficient expertise, it has been passed to TD DLO for further researches into suppliers and installation costs.
The Parish Council remains committed to provided good quality play facilities and street furniture in all areas of the Parish. To increase community involvement, the Parish Council supports the services of two litter pickers and an army of volunteers; and the activities of the ‘Friends of Farriers’ (volunteers who look after Farriers Green Park). If the necessary permissions can be obtained, it is the aspiration of the Parish Council to turn some play areas, where the commuted sum has been spent and thus no further maintenance will take place, into public open space community gardens.
When the new Primary School opens at Bathpool, it will have an adjoining community facility. This facility will help serve the 2000 or so new residents in the first phase of the new development: later stages will take the number of new residents to circa 10000 or more. It is the intention of the Parish Council that a weekly or monthly surgery will be held in the community section, so that issues can be readily brought to the attention of the Parish Council. The Parish Council believes that a physical presence in the community facility, plus noticeboards and seats on the other side of the road at the Local Centre providing a friendly space in which to gather, will facilitate friendships and the growth of a vibrant and active community. Accordingly, the budget includes provision for a laptop computer (long overdue) plus other office furniture, to assist the mobility of the Parish ‘office’ and also to keep up to date with office hardware. An example of cuts to services that will be taking effect almost immediately is that TD Planning dept will no longer provide the large A5 maps and plans that accompany planning applications. Unless sufficient copies are provided by the applicant, TD will provide only 1 x A3 copy. It is the intention of the Parish Council to purchase an A3 copier so that Councillors will be able to access as much information as possible when considering applications; and the lap top will have projection facilities.
Taking into account the aspirations and intentions described above, the budgeted expenditure for the years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19 has been predicted at £65400, £68226, and £58197. These amounts will not all be precept – some will be carried forward from previous years, and a small amount of income will be received from allotments, business listings, VAT reclaim and grants. Since the award of grants cannot be predicted, they are not included in this budget. Additionally, the number of houses in the Parish looks set to continue increasing at a rate of circa 300 per annum, thus the number of dwellings across which the precept is shared will increase.
For 2016/17, the expected receipts, other than the precept, are likely to be circa £2960. Thus total carried forward from this year is likely to be £28915. The expenditure budget has been calculated at £65400. So the total precept required (Budgeted expenditure minus carry forward) is £65400-£28915 = £36485.
Resolution: The Parish Council resolves to adopt the recommended precept of £36485 for 2016/2017;