Facing Stark Reality.

Parish councils monitor street lighting, they can provide allotments and look after play areas and village greens. They have a hand in communications by maintaining or guarding such things as rights of way, bus shelters and public seats.                                                 Parish councils are the cheapest and least bureaucratic kind of local authority. They are funded by the parish precept and they get no general government grant so they have every incentive to ensure they give and get value for money.                               Anston is the largest parish in the Borough of Rotherham and RMBC (via HM Government) gave APC a grant of £31,000 to help with changes in the benefits system and -more importantly- to freeze the parish precept. The tax base (which means the number of homes which pay the parish precept and council tax) is rising yet RMBC intends to cut £10,000 per year for the next three years from Anston’s income.                  The residents of Anston face stark choices; The hanging flower baskets that help to make Anston attractive cost £7,000 a year. RMBC charges APC £14,043 per year (part of a a 3 year contract) for grass cutting and grounds maintenance including the large field at Crowgate which APC rents from RMBC for £1 per annum. The field is now largely unused and to save money it has been suggested that it should be handed back to RMBC.           Two local football clubs owe APC £872 for rents and fees, there are other debts of £7,000  plus the cost of the annual Bonfire Night –£7,750– and Anston Parish Council is faced with debts of £36,665 for the financial year 2015/2016.                                             This sum excludes the annual repayments of £12,800 per year for the newly renamed ‘Rackford Meadows’. £36k+ is a huge sum of money for APC and most of these debts were incurred by Labour councillors who previously controlled Anston Parish Council.   They never put financial controls in place nor did they understand finance and economics. They never tried to get value for money and Beck, Burton and Dalton voted in agreement with RMBC to cut Anston’s income by a total of £31,000 over the next three years. This was before they also voted with other Labour councillors to increase Anston’s precept by 1.9%

The Independent’s (who now control APC) are deterrmined to reduce the parish council’s debts and ensure there are rigorous controls on future spending. The residents of Anston deserve value for money from their parish council -which they’ve never had before- and clearing up the financial mess left by Labour councillors means hard choices have to be made.

* This post has been edited to correct the information originally posted about RMBC.*

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3 Responses to Facing Stark Reality.

  1. S Thornton says:

    Whooops, Previous post should have read “1.9% increase in the PRECEPT.

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  2. S Thornton says:

    Hear is a thought, Ex Cllr Dalton ( she who was sacked from the RMBC Taxi Committee) made some strange decisions around our budget this year.
    During the meetings to set the budget, she never once spoke up about the loss of the £2000 she had every year for “Anston Day”, Odd very odd.
    During the final setting of the budget, she was about to say something about Anston Day then changed her mind.
    Now its all clear, She (and the other Labour Cllrs) never said a word because they had already made up their minds they were not going to stand this year for Election ( hence she did not need the money to promote her Election , and left the current committee floundering for the grant)
    But not only had they made up their minds not to stand, they also had decided to stitch up those who were left, by voting through a 1.9% increase in the budget.
    So there you have it , it just about sums up what the Labour Party have been doing to your local council tax for the last number of years.
    Amazingly we still have people in the village who actually thought they were the bees knees and did a good job.
    Please do come forward and explain yourselves.

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  3. Insider says:

    £14000 for grass cutting and maintaining the grounds? RMBC is extracting the urine.
    If APC purchased a secondhand tractor and gangmower they could recoup the costs over the next 4/5 years especially as the equipment costs and upkeep could be shared with Dinnington or Kiveton. Plus 1 day’s training for a driver-operator and Anston Parish Council will save money (Which is the aim of the council?)
    Spending nearly £8000 of our money on a bonfire and fireworks is IMV way OTT. Some other councils charge between £1 and £2 admission fee for events like this so why can’t APC try and recoup some of our money? If you want to deny your friends and family a night out which engages and entertains the community for the cost of £1 each you really are sad IMO.
    I also suggest Anston goes without the hanging baskets for at least two years or encourage sponsorship for them by local businesses and/or residents.
    The previous Labour controlled council really did screw us over. They forgot it was not their money (No change there)

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