Coltishall Parish Precept

 At the Parish Council meeting on Monday 1st November the Council discussed the Parish precept for next year. This is the amount you, as Coltishall parishioners, pay towards the running of Coltishall.

 After a debate it was agreed that the precept would rise from the present £13,500 per annum to £27,000, an increase of 100%.

As this is a large increase in the precept I thought it only right that I should explain to you why we have made this decision and the effect it will have on your household budget.

 Coltishall Parish Council has several assets it is responsible for including two playing fields, a village hall, two pavilions, a war memorial, various seats around the village and a part share in a common. All these cost money to maintain.

In the past many remedial tasks were undertaken by volunteer groups and utilising the goodwill of the community, which enabled the Council to maintain a traditionally low precept.  Sadly, despite the best efforts of many organisations and individuals, that level of support is not what it once was, which has resulted in under funding. 

Next financial year the Parish Council’s income, excluding the precept, is expected to be approximately £2,700. However, it has several items of expenditure it has to fund. This includes the Parish Clerk’s salary and expenses, playing field grass and verge cutting, insurances, contributions towards the cutting of the graveyard grass and church clock maintenance and several smaller items. These will total approximately £12,500 next year.

You will see from this that if the precept continued at its present level there would be little scope to maintain the Parish assets.

The Council has drawn up a list of things it needs to do and a list of things it would like to do over the next few years to both maintain the current assets and provide additional items, including full renovation of the war memorial, replacing the heating system in the village hall, providing a ramp to the fire exit to the Lounge in the village hall, and general improvements to the football and cricket pavilion; the list goes on.

The Parish Plan questionnaire replies showed that Coltishall parishioners wanted to use the facilities we have in the village and also wanted these facilities to be improved and extended. None of this could happen if the Parish precept remained at this year’s level.

The Parish Council will be preparing and publishing a rolling three year plan to make sure that the money is spent where it is needed most and that value for money is obtained.

I will now deal with the cost to you as Coltishall Council taxpayers. The table below shows how much each council tax band is paying this year and how much this will increase to next year.

BAND

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

2010/11

£14.99

£17.55

£19.98

£22.55

£27.54

£32.54

£37.53

£44.96

2011/12

£29.98

£35.10

£39.96

£45.10

£55.08

£65.08

£75.06

£85.92

 As a matter of interest other parishes with similar numbers of properties collected the following precepts this financial year : Buxton with Lamas £30,000; Cawston £21,350; and Salhouse £24,876.

Whilst we appreciate that this is a large percentage increase, in real terms it actually represents an average of 50p extra per week per household. Yet this increase will allow the Parish Council to ensure Coltishall remains a great place to live with facilities available for all to enjoy.

 John Harding

Chairman, Coltishall Parish Council.