February Press Release
The way local government is changing means County and District Councils are losing direct funding from central government and so they are making cuts to the services they provide. For example, the District Council will no longer provide bins, the County Council has stopped giving out road grit/salt.
Parish Councils across the UK have a choice, they can step up and provide the services themselves or see them lost. Beckington Parish Council have resolved like so many Local Councils to provide the services itself.
Over the last 18 months Members of the Parish Council have been working on many different initiatives, guided by the Bettering Beckington survey that went out to every household in the village. The response to the survey was impressive and the Parish Council has started to introduce new facilities and also supplement services that are being withdrawn by the other authorities.
The Parish Council now pays for;
• Extra grass verge cutting within Beckington village
• All the salt/grit in the highway grit bins
• For Sue's walk to be kept short
The Council has undertaken a total overhaul of its website. Five new grit bins have been purchased for the Parish and are now in place and full of grit. Eight new dog mess bins have also been installed across the Parish, all paid for and installed by the Parish Council and not forgetting the two new bus shelters at the top of Bath road, costing over £10,000 in total.
Given all this activity residents won't be surprised that the Parish Council share of the Council tax bill will need to increase this year. A Band D property in Beckington will be charged £56.11 for all the services that the council will be providing. The increases on last year, while significant in percentage terms, in monetary terms is an increase of £1.95 per month per household over the period.
The Parish Council has historically had a very low precept, this is fine for an inactive council that is not being asked to do anything or doesn't want to ensure continuation of services. But given the list of priorities dictated to it by residents through the Bettering Beckington survey and subsequent public meeting and as a consequence of picking up the services as already described, Members of the Parish Council have now brought the precept charge up inline with the other active Local Councils within Mendip
The extra £1.95 per month that each household will now pay will see the above services protected, continued support for local organisations with the giving of grants and many other projects join the list for future years: -
• New Allotments (While in the long term self-sustaining, in the short term that carry legal and set up costs)
• Footpath improvements within the parish (and better maintenance of)
• Footpath to Rudge & the Farm Shop project (to explore the possibility of)
• Safe cycle routes (support the creation of)
• Flowers on the entrances to the Village (asked for in the survey)
• A Speed Indicator Device (to help combat the growing problem of speeding in the parish)
• Continued support for local organisations with the giving of grants
• Restoration of the village pump