How should the Parish Council spend its money on projects in the future?
The Parish Council will receive, over the next few years, about £350,000 from the developers of the 110 houses behind the Horse and Groom and will spend that money to enhance the amenities of the village. However, any new project will, almost certainly, have an ongoing running cost that will have to be paid for from Council Tax. You are asked to give your views on the use of the £350,000 bearing in mind those future ongoing costs.
The survey can be found in the SMPC January newsletter or from Mortimer Library and, once completed, dropped off at Budgens, The Baobab, the Surgery or the Library by Saturday, 8th February. Alternatively, the survey can be filled in online at: https://tinyurl.com/Mortimer2020 (opens in new window)
More information about the process and the possible projects is below and will be available at a manned exhibition in the Library on:
Manned Exhibition Dates & Times
||5.30pm - 7.30pm
||10am - 12.30pm
You are also asked to think of any new projects that are not listed and that you believe would enhance the village and help deliver the vision set out in the Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP).
The Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP), which the village voted for in 2017, has a ‘vision’ for Mortimer in the future:
The Plan will make it possible for people to live the whole of their lives in the parish if they so wish.
The rural character and setting of the parish will remain with the minimum of intrusion on the existing surrounding green and agricultural space.
Generally, any projects should be in conformity with that vision.
Paying for the Projects
The £350,000 from the developers will be received as part of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). CIL is mainly geared for capital funding – the Parish Council is not permitted to use it (for example) to subsidise day-to-day administrative costs, reduce the precept, etc. Having said this it is important to understand that most of the capital projects proposed below will incur future running costs that will have to come out of operating expenditure and may, therefore, require an increase in the council tax precept. The running costs will go on indefinitely into the future and will, therefore, increase the amount of Council Tax that must be paid. Each of the projects illustrated at this exhibition shows the increase in Council Tax that would be needed to cover the ongoing running costs.
The Projects (General)
The projects illustrated in this exhibition are the ones that the Parish Council is presently considering taking forward. Some of them have been thought about for some time while others have only recently been brought forward.
It is very clearly recognised that these projects are only a selection of possible projects that could be taken forward. As such, residents and businesses are being asked to put forward their ideas for future projects. The responses to the existing projects, and possible new ones, will help the Parish Council draw up a programme of projects to be implemented over the next few years as funds become available.
It is quite possible that some projects will have money spent on them only to find that they are incapable of implementation. This is unfortunate but without examining the possible projects in more detail, and spending money on that examination, there is no way of knowing if they are viable or not.
Because the projects are at an early stage of development, it must also be stressed that the estimates for both the initial costs and the running costs are simply educated broad brush figures. It is quite likely that unknown costs, such as changed circumstances due to new Government regulations, will emerge as the process evolves and will influence the Parish Council’s decision whether to proceed or not.
The timetable for implementation will vary from project to project and will be largely influenced by outside bodies, such as the gaining planning permission from West Berkshire Council.