Improving Anston Parish Council Services-Or-How To Save Our Money.

The 2011 Open Public Services White Paper recognises the way local government has operated and delivered public services over the last 50 years is no longer affordable and efficient in the face of;
Reduced public spending.
Increased demand for services.
Increased public expectations about the quality of services.
Councils have had to question everything they do (or should have) and ask themselves how things can be done or delivered better, more efficiently and more economically.
Given the magnitude of change it seems incompatible-and foolish-that town and parish councils (Anston Parish Council in particular) seem to feel they are not part of this and have not invested in measures to drive down costs or make any savings.
At APC there was a sense of “It’s not our problem” and Labour councillors adopted a simple strategy of “do nothing“.

Simple changes to how APC functions in the future could include:
Share back office services such as payroll and accounting functions.
Use greater transparency to cut waste by publishing spending, contracts and tenders over £500.
Improve procurement by clustering with neighbouring councils to secure better pricing.
Use e-direct debit and e-billing to replace expensive cheque and cash payments.  Make better use of land and property assets by sharing with other councils, public and voluntary bodies.
Make sure all debts, rents and fees are paid on time and in full.
Review utilities suppliers and costs.

The simple changes in operating procedures outlined above could, if implemented in the next 6 months save enough money in the next 4 years so the precept (aka ‘Anston Tax’) will not rise. Compare and contrast this with Labour’s dismal record since 2011.
Anston Parish Councillors have a mandate to speak on behalf of the people they represent. It is important that they do this with authority and integrity in order to have the optimum effect.
Anston Parish Council’s complacent old guard needed clearing out. The new Parish Council can now plan and implement the improvements and modernisation to bring APC back into the 21st century.



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2 Responses to Improving Anston Parish Council Services-Or-How To Save Our Money.

  1. S Thornton says:

    I for one questioned the way the Parish Council spent our money at almost every meeting. But I was constantly thwarted by the Labour group. What was really depressing was that our finances were in effect being controlled by Cllr Dalton and Cllr St John, both who were in my opinion very poor in dealing with financial figures. Add to that, they did not pay our Tax because they lived in Dinington made it even worse. ( It should be noted also, that the rest of the Labour group backed them up, so they should also take the blame for our high Council Precept).
    As a parting gift, those Labour Cllrs who were also Labour RMBC Cllrs, voted at Rotherham to strip Anston of £30,000 a year in grants ( remember the “no money” left note the Tories were harping on about, smacks of the same).
    I can assure you the new Council Members will be giving more close scrutiny to Finance and the way the Council operates. I predict the way the Council will operate in future will be very different than in the past.


  2. Veritas. says:

    All councils have the responsibility to provide value for money and in the recent past APC has failed to do that. Spending £7,000 of our money on hanging baskets, giving the skateboard committee (via Dalton) £500, failing to collect rents and fees – which I understand to be in the region of £8,000 – and wasting £2,000 on Dalton’s vanity project (aka ‘Anston Day’) has put a serious dent in Anston Parish Council’s finances.
    There is no evidence that the Labour party or the Clerk tried to secure best value when spending our money.
    Good luck to the new council in trying to bring costs under control and not before time either.


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