We have received comments about the rise in the Precept for 23/24. This article, seeks to explain why it has risen and why we feel it is justified. I don’t apologise for the length of the explanation – it is a complex subject.Cllr Lynn Evans Chairman HPC
The precept enables a Parish Council to fulfil all its aims and duties.
In Horndean we have over 150 acres of land which we own or manage for the benefit of residents and the wildlife which inhabits the land. The majority is owned and includes five Local Nature Reserves one of which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest – SSSI
All our sites are well-used and much appreciated. Included are all the playgrounds and outdoor gym facilities. During holidays and fine weather all the play areas are extremely well-used and the open spaces are visited by many people out for a walk.
We also own and maintain two community halls which are available for hire.
We have a small grant budget which is applied for by organisations in need of help.
Support is given to the Horndean and Clanfield Food Bank.
The Remembrance Day Service and Carols in the Square are organised and funded by HPC and are both well-attended and appreciated.
The Planning Committee comment on all applications made within the Parish to try to ensure that they are acceptable in design and situation.
We answer numerous queries in a typical week and sign-post residents to contact other organisations when a problem occurs which is outside our remit.
The 15% increase to the precept this year (an increase of £11 per annum on a band D house) has been brought about by:
• A fall in income from the halls due to lockdowns and some clubs and groups conducting their events online not face to face.
• Some groups have failed due to people choosing to spend their monies on necessities rather than entertainment.
• We have seen increases in utility bills and could see more. Most of the services we have to “buy in” have increased significantly in cost.
• A significant spend on repair and replacement due to vandalism.
• A cost during the summer of hiring private security to prevent vandalism
As a Council we feel that all the above are of benefit to each of our residents in one way or another and sometimes even more valuable when times are difficult.
The budget and resulting precept are discussed in public meetings over a period of months. For instance the 23/24 budget was discussed six times. No member of the public attended any of these meetings.
Elections take place on May 4th this year and we are not expecting to have 15 Councillors after that date. Do your bit and get elected (still time if you move quickly) or join the Council by becoming co-opted – the Chief Officer can supply details of how this works and the duties and responsibilities of a member of the Council.
The extension houses the office and countryside team
workshop. Both were previously rented. The rents we were paying cover the loan
repayments. All staff housed in a suitable building which is owned by the
Parish. All the plans and the business case for the project were discussed in
public meetings on many occasions.
Website: www.horndeanpc-hants.gov.ukNext meetings:
Annual Parish Meeting 3rd April at 7pm in Jubilee Hall
Council Meeting April 17th at 7pm in Jubilee Hall