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Chair's Blog January 2018

posted Jan 20, 2018, 6:39 AM by Karen Birks   [ updated Jan 20, 2018, 6:40 AM ]


 Happy New Year,


At our December Parish Council meeting, we looked at our finances and cashflow in terms of past spend patterns and running costs and projected spending needs and set our Parish Council Precept at £10,000 for the financial year April 2018 – March 2019.  This is an increase of £500 on last year’s and the year before’s £9,500 Precept level.  As discussed again at our January PC meeting, we are particularly keen to establish a more effective grass-cutting service to get the village’s verges and recreational areas well-looked after for practical and aesthetic reasons throughout the year, and we have allowed some further provision for new asset purchases.  You can check out the profile of Precept amounts and accounts over the years on the Parish Council website or contact the Clerk if you would like any more background information. The Parish Council’s accounts are formally presented and discussed at the Annual Parish Meeting each May. 


Do YOU have any creative ideas for making your village an even better place to live?


We continue to run a Village Plan Fund (as advertised on our website and in Dover Beck articles like this) which helps subsidise repair and maintenance costs for the big playspace and running costs for the new defibrillators, for example.  The fund has also supported other initiatives like buying the wooden planters along Main Street and activities for Oxton residents - ranging from chair-based exercise classes to supporting festival events.  So, please do be in touch with the Clerk if you have any fresh idea(s) to provide a community-wide facility or activity requiring a contribution to the funding mix, in order to discuss practicalities and possibly putting together a proposal for Council consideration.


Our Parish Council Clerk is Karen Birks, / 01636 812023.


Key Matters from the 12th December 2017 and 9th January 2018 PC meeting:

The Clerk puts Meeting Agendas and Full Minutes on the Parish Council’s Noticeboard on Main Street as well as the Parish Council’s website  - do check the site out for news and other information.

 (See 12/12/17 Minute 7):  iii) Confirm budget and precept for 2018/19

A final version of the budget was presented taking account of changes suggested at the last meeting. The budget was agreed and the precept set at £10,000, an increase of £500 from the current year in order to cover the estimated net expenditure for 2018/19.  The Village Plan fund continues to subsidise playspace maintenance and any village plan-related funding requests.  Such funds could also contribute to match-funding for future NCC Local Improvement Scheme bids.

(See 09/01/18 Minute 9):  Risk and Resilience

Significant rainfall occurred in early January which resulted in water flowing across a number of roads in and around the village. The sluice gate was opened on six days but the level of the pond was not reduced by this action. The waterways and drainage ditches around the village continued to function well in the heavy rain and it was clear that the routine maintenance throughout the year has been a vital part of flood prevention.

Next PC meeting is: Tuesday 13th February 2018 7:30pm -  Sylvia Bell Room, Oxton Village Hall