The Parish Council is funded through a portion of your council tax charge. A ‘precept’ is issued to Swindon Borough Council who add the charge to your base council tax, much as the police and fire services do.
How the funding is changing
In 2016, Swindon Borough Council embarked upon a project to reduce expenditure in a number of non-essential areas in order for it to be redirected towards duties such as adult social care and child protection. As a result, the Parish Council agreed to take on a package of services such as grass cutting, shrub maintenance and litter picking in public areas.
Under a transitional arrangement, the Borough provided 100% of their allocated budget to the Parish in 2016/17, this will reduce to 50% in 2017/18 and in 2018/19 it will fall to 25% and to 0% in 2019/2020. The shortfall in funding as the budget is reduced will be covered through the Parish annual precept.
What the funding changes mean for you
The reduction in funding from Swindon Borough Council along with the need to maintain and improve Parish assets necessitate an increase in our precept in the 2017/18 tax year. As such, we are requesting £105,000 which means the average Band D property will now pay a precept of £91.66; an increase of £0.54 per week.
In our new service model, we have kept cost-effectiveness at the forefront, and have already negotiated improved service contracts (see sidebar) Against this backdrop, we hope residents will feel that this increase – considerably less than the cost of a cup of coffee – represents good value for money.
If you want to discuss any aspect of the Council’s finances, then please contact the Parish Clerk at feel free to attend one of our meetings which have a dedicated public recess.