1) Funding the setting up and running of the Village Caretaker initiative during the current financial year, together with undertaking the Village Protection Policy initiative, will, by the year end, result in a depletion of the Parish Council’s finances to the tune of some £8140.
2) whilst this deficit can be absorbed as a one-off, it is considered unacceptable to reduce the Parish Council’s finances year-on-year by any similar amount.
3) The Village Protection Policy has been accepted by Ashford Borough Council Planning Department as a useful tool for assessing the suitability of local development proposals and will likely be incorporated into the new Local Plan to 2030, thus fully justifying the expenditure; and the Village Caretaker initiative has been a great success, well received by residents, providing excellent value for money, and in the Parish Council’s view should continue for the foreseeable future.
4) the cost of the Village Caretaker initiative for the next financial year, together with some very minor other cost increases, requires the Parish Council to spend £6,850 and at the meeting of the Parish Council on 11 January it was unanimously agreed to raise this money by increasing the Parish Precept i.e. the monies that the Parish Council receives from Ashford Borough Council (which is raised through Council Tax), in order to prevent a further reduction in the Parish Council’s financial resources.
5) this means that each and every household in the Parish will be asked to pay an additional 36p per week (approximately) in Council Tax to cover the increase in the Precept.
6) this way forward will help to ensure that the Parish Council remains financially viable and able to continue to provide local services for local people.
7) further information can be given on request.