CDC will shortly be sending out your Council Tax statement containing itemised charges for CDC, WSCC, Sussex Police and the Parish Council. The Precept, the local element of Council Tax, is the Parish Council’s main source of funds and is used in maintaining and administering the village.
Over several years, our County and District Councils have had to focus budgets on social services and other statutory obligations. Many other services they provide, that we may normally see in our village, have now been reduced or withdrawn. Many of these services relate to general maintenance: gully clearance, road sweeping, sign cleaning, grass cutting, public toilets etc; things that if left undone, have a cumulative and detrimental effect for our village.
The Wisborough Green Precept will be increased for the coming year, funding additional maintenance by the Parish Council. The increase will represent less than £10/year for Band D households. It will help fund:
- Full maintenance for the public toilets in addition to cleaning, otherwise the facilities would be closed.
- Clearing road gutters and weed removal to keep pavements safe.
- Grass cutting costs and Songhurst Meadow open space maintenance.
- Resurfacing of the Kirdford Road pavement on the village green to improve width and remove trip hazards.
- Pothole repairs on Parish Council land.
- Playground equipment maintenance.
The Parish Council already has increases in existing costs, for example, looking after the village green and over 80 trees on Parish land. We know from feedback that residents value the village being looked after. Whilst it adds further pressure on our budget, we consider that items dropping off the WSCC/CDC lists should be maintained at village level, rather than not at all, risking safety and perhaps higher long term repair costs. We are not alone and other villages are taking this approach.
An increase of under 9% represents an 18p per week increase for a Band D property, and 36p per week for a Band H property, allowing the village to directly benefit. It means that the Parish Council can do more to protect, preserve and enhance Wisborough Green; more than would be the case if left to CDC and WSCC.