Precept 2017/18

Kenwyn Parish Council Precept 2017/2018

 

As many of our parishioners are now receiving their Council Tax Bill for the next financial year we would like to take this opportunity to explain how the rise in the parish element was calculated.

Our precept for 2017/18 will be £111580.

 

Over the last twelve months’ extensive works have been carried out at Shortlanesend Playing Field, new play equipment has been purchased and the area is now a very exciting, safe and enjoyable place for our young people. Both infant and junior equipment has been installed along with adult outdoor gym equipment for those that wish to keep fit whilst enjoying the far reaching, lovely views across the Tregavethan Valley. 

Whilst some of this was paid for by the parish council managing to secure the Section 106 contribution from the Wainhomes development below the playing field, the parish council also topped up the funding to ensure the best equipment could be purchased. 

That project is complete and we now look at the village hall in the next financial year where some extensive repair work is required to the rear gable of the hall itself.  This has had to be budgeted for and of course forms part of the rise in the council’s precept.  The hall is very well used and is a real asset to the village, the parish and now the wider community as we have hirers coming from as far away as Redurth, St. Agnes and St. Allen.

Turning towards Threemilestone Playing Field, we recently consulted the residents via the School and the Contact Magazine to see what new play equipment they would like for the playing field there.  We have been saving for a number of years to provide new play equipment at Threemilestone and in 2017/18 we added an extra £5000 to the fund because we hope to be able to put outdoor adult gym equipment there too.

May 2017 will see the current council term come to an end and Parish and Town Council Elections will take place.  Previous elections have seen the seats not contested so councillors are automatically members of the parish council without having to fight an election.  Added to this Cornwall Council have never until now passed on the whole cost of an election to the parish and town councils.  However, Cornwall Council has now resolved to pass on the whole cost to the councils and this resulted in this parish council being asked to find £10,000 to fund elections, should they occur, in all of its four wards.  We felt this was an unacceptable rise on the precept all in one year so we decided to precept an extra £6000 which will pay for elections should they occur and if they don’t the money will be held and added to in a much smaller way for the elections in four years’ time.  The remaining £4000 will come from the parish council reserves.

We expect seats to be contested however given the bad feeling towards Cornwall Council Highways in Threemilestone.  The controversial road works and the even more controversial Bus Gate have led to some very bad feeling in the village and also to the parish council taking the unusual step of legally challenging Cornwall Council over both its consultation and decision making process in relation to the Bus Gate.

This legal fight depleted the parish council’s £5000 legal fees budget which had been built up over a number of years.  Money had to be moved from other budgets to pay other legal fees not connected with the Bus Gate.  It is necessary therefore this year to add £5000 to the precept to replace the spent funds. It is disappointing that Cornwall Council went against the wishes of the community and pressed ahead with the Bus Gate.

Cornwall Council, through its cost cutting processes, has dropped a number of services it previously provided.  It is expected that parish and town councils will take on some of these services but of course no funding is provided by Cornwall Council in order to do so.  Therefore, parish and town councils are having to increase their precepts to meet the costs of these important services which Cornwall Council no longer carries out. 

One of the services we are contacted about very frequently is weed spraying. We have decided to begin a programme of weed spraying during 2017/18 and although we cannot cover the whole parish we will start to provide this service in parts of the parish. We have increased our precept to begin this programme and we hope to build up steadily over the next few years to a time when we can cover most of the parish.

Although the increase of 21.8% seems like a huge rise it is in real terms a rise of £21330.  We hope you will appreciate that a lot of new houses have been built in Kenwyn Parish and they will absorb a lot of the increase per household.  We do not intend to raise our precept significantly in the coming financial years.

We hope this explains the difficult decisions we have had to make regarding the parish element of the Council Tax for the coming year.  We continue to strive to provide the best service to our parishioners and to look after the parish and its assets.