The Parish Council exists to serve the local community, provide input on local planning matters and ensure the proper maintenance of shared village facilities. Parish Councils in Wiltshire are funded through a combination of a Precept and, in the last four financial years, a Support Grant.
In recent years, Yatton Keynell Parish Council has operated a deficit funding various local projects and activities without increasing its Precept. In addition, the Support Grant has reduced with the grant available for 2016-17 financial year being £44
In the current financial year (2015-16) the Parish Council has agreed to provide funding totalling £10,100 from its reserves for:
- Tree felling and planting in Market Cross area: £1,000
- Tree felling and planting on public footpath adjacent to Jubilee Field Surgery: £3,600
- Creation of a Contemplation Garden as part of the Burial Ground: £5,500
In addition, we are overseeing the distribution of a £40,000 community benefit fund provided by the developers of the solar farm at Castle Combe Circuit. We believe that these investments will significantly benefit the village and Parish.
Whilst expenditure in many areas has remained static, the cost of Parish maintenance, utilities and professional fees has grown gradually.
Additionally, as many residents will have observed, the standard of works, such as grass cutting and verge maintenance, that are the responsibility of Wiltshire Council have been poor, culminating in the termination of the contract with Balfour Beatty to conduct these activities.
For these reasons, we have taken the difficult decision to request an increased Precept for the 2016-17 financial year of £13,000. Of this, £1,200 is allocated specifically to fund maintenance of areas that have been neglected by Wiltshire Council and their previous contractor, as we are not convinced that new arrangements will produce suitable results in the short term. The balance reflects overall increased costs, some of which have been absorbed by the use of reserves in recent years. The Parish Council does not exist to build cash reserves, however we intend to retain no more than one year’s Precept in reserve for exceptional items.
The increase in Precept will represent an increase of around £12 per annum to a Band D Council Tax bill for the 2016-17 period. Whilst we recognise that any increase in taxation is unwelcome, we hope that parishioners will agree that an increase of around £1 per month is a worthwhile investment in the continued maintenance of the public areas of the village and the support of other village groups, facilities and events.