Declarations of interest: None

Public recess: No public

16/31. Minutes of the previous committee meeting.

The minutes of the meeting held on 30th November 2015 were approved on a proposal by Cllr Brady seconded by Cllr Bowles; all at the meeting in favour.

16/32. Matters arising

15/29 page 3. First para. Cllr Bowles commented on the Recreation Hall floor being postponed to 2017, however it has recently been noted that the building has shifted in some way as fire doors are not closing fully. Cllr Walton has previously stated he believes this is the foundations rather than the floor itself.

Action points

Cllr Costigan to submit the 2016/17 precept form by 29th January 2016. The intention is to have this document ready to submit at the end of this meeting.

16/33. 2016/17 precept:

Cllr Costigan presented a financial report indicating that the total predicted expenditure forecast for all sub-committees for 2016/17 is £50,700.

If we take on the extra services that the Borough Council expect us to then we need to budget an extra £22,000. This takes the total expenditure to approx £72,000.

Our likely income from Band D housing will rise from £1000 in 2015/16 to £1045 in 2016/17. (14% increase)

The current household tax rate is £32.00 pa which made a total of £32,000 in 2015/16.
We also got council tax support which took the total to £36,000.

16/33. 2016/17 precept: continued

If there are no increases other than to Band D properties this takes the2016/17 total to just over £40,000.

The average household rate across the county is £65.00, ours is only £32.00

Cllr Costigan asked if we just want to cover our predicted services or whether we want to cover our forecast expenditure and also factor in a plan to cover extra services.

Cllr Brady responded that we need to look to cover our extra services and not just assume the cost of these will be limited to £22,000.

Cllr Brady proposed a £30.00 increase per household so we can then accommodate extra projects and also be proactive in other areas of the Parish where Parishioners want it. We can also cover our extra services handed down from the Borough Council with this increase.

It was also noted that our Precept has not increased in 10 years.

Cllr Cabrera queried the £30,000 the Parish Council has which is held in a bond that matures in April 2016. It was agreed that we should still keep these funds reserved to provide us with a buffer against unexpected expenditure.

Cllr Brady mentioned she had talked to Cllr Walton about a plan Wroughton Parish Council had put into place whereby a house was purchased by the Council for use to accommodate village services. It would be good to be able to do something similar here.

It was then proposed that the Parish Council tax fee per household be raised to £64.00 for 2016/17.
Cllr Harris approved this proposal and it was seconded by Cllr Brady. All those in the meeting voted in favour.

Cllr Brady then started a discussion on how this is raised and explained to the Parishioners.
Points put forward were:
Do we need to publicise Swindon Borough Councils policy of providing greater care for vulnerable people which is the reason that funds are being withdrawn from Parish’s for the extra services we now need to provide?
Although we have quotes coming in from AllBuild and Countywide to do this work, do we also need to see if there are any businesses in the Parish that are the right size to take on this work?
How do we communicate this increase to Parishioners?
Can we produce a pamphlet for all Parishioners?
Have a meeting for all Parishioners?
Invite Swindon Borough Council along to explain why they have made these changes.
Could we hire Chiseldon House Hotel for the evening and ask local businesses to provide funding?

It was decided that Cllrs Brady, Harris and Cabrera are to form a focus group to start to plan how we will communicate these changes to Parishioners.

Cllr Harris then asked if we should start to look at 2017/18 requirements? Do we have a long term plan?
Cllr Costigan replied that no, we only work on the next financial years plans.

16/33. 2016/17 precept: continued

Cllr Brady suggested an agenda item to raise this at the next full Parish Council meeting on 8th Feburary. Clerk to action this.

16/34. Any other business.

A quote to coppice the Millenium Copse was presented to the committee for £405.00.
This was approved by Cllr Costigan.

There is a broken plug socket in the Old Chapel that needs fixing. These sockets were only put in a short while ago when the plaster was removed from the chapel walls. It was suggested we go back to the original electrician and ask him to come and rectify.

The meeting closed at 8.22pm.

Date of next meeting: TBC


Clerk 16/33 Add item agenda to next full council meeting for 2017/18 precept discussion – do we need a long term plan?

16/34 Contact electricians who did recent work in the Old Chapel to ask them to come and repair the broken plug socket.