Accounts, Audit, Budget & Compliance to Transparency Code
Melksham Without Parish Council agreed their Budget for 2022/23 at the Full Council meeting held on Monday 24th January 2022. The Council unanimously agreed to set its Precept – the proportion of Council Tax paid to the Parish Council - at £235,689.05
for the 2022/23 financial year, which is an increase of £17,712 (8.1%) on last year’s Precept. This means that the average Band D household will contribute £84.71
to Melksham Without Parish Council, a rise of £2.60 on last year
, which is a 3.16% rise
. Band D properties are used as a measure of the national average, and some households will see a smaller or bigger increase, based on their Band rating for Council Tax.
The parish council run a number of facilities and services in the parish from this Precept funding and support a number of community ventures in both the parish as well as those in the Town and villages outside the Parish. It currently runs and maintains five play areas (Berryfield, Shaw, Beanacre and Kestrel Court & Hornchurch Road in Bowerhill) with two more to be taken on from the developers in the new housing developments in the Bellway development on Semington Road and the Taylor Wimpey development in Pathfinder Place, Bowerhill. In addition, it also owns two playing fields, one in Bowerhill and one in Shaw (The Beeches). The parish council has taken on some additional grasscutting, on public open space owned by Wiltshire Council, to improve the cutting in some areas and for wildflower meadow areas in patches on the public open spaces. The parish council has two allotment sites, both in Berryfield, which have almost full occupancy of 70+ tenants at present.
The parish council contributes to a variety of joint ventures with Melksham Town Council such as the Melksham Neighbourhood Plan, development of Shurnhold Fields mini country park and the public toilets in the Market Place. As well as joint ventures, the parish council provides grant funding (£24,550 in the current financial year with a higher amount budgeted for next year). These grants provide valuable funding for all the village halls in the parish; Shaw, Bowerhill, Whitley Reading Rooms and the temporary hall in Berryfield as well as wide spread of clubs, support groups, and organisations that provide sporting activities, village publications, events, and activities for young and old. The grants are for those organisations that benefit the residents of Melksham Without, so are not all contained in the parish, some are based in the Town or in other villages outside the parish.
The Parish Council has received additional funding from the Government’s CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) scheme which is a levy directly on new housing developments in the parish. When budget setting the Council have not put money into Reserves for future projects that could be paid for from CIL and will look to use the CIL funding for a variety of infrastructure projects including the building and kitting out of the new village hall in Berryfield in association with the approved planning application of 150 houses in Land to the east of Semington Road. All the CIL received to date from the 450 houses East of Spa Road (The Acorns/Hunters Wood) will be transferred to the Town Council in this financial year; this is £315,000 which the parish council have earmarked for several years for the construction of a new community centre, east of Melksham, the transfer will have a legal tie to ensure that is what the funds are still contributing to. The parish council’s level of Reserves is therefore relatively high this year, and next, as the funds for these large infrastructure projects are in the bank awaiting to be drawn down as the projects progress, as well as the Public Works Loan of £495,000 for the new hall at Berryfield. The loan is to ease cashflow and to allow the building work to commence without having to wait for the developer’s funding to trickle in; as these funds are expected though the budget’s Reserves detail both amounts.
The community funding received from Sandridge Solar Farm has been used this year, and for next, to fund cleaning of the play areas’ safety surfacing, tree works, pavement Weed spraying, new street furniture and the fortnightly installation of the Speed Indicator device across the parish.
Other budgeted items are for highway improvement projects working with Wiltshire Council’s CATG (Community Area Transport Group) and play area repairs. The council will be relocating to its new office and meeting accommodation on the first floor of the Campus in the Autumn, and will purchase new video and microphone equipment for the live streaming of public meetings.
A copy of the Minutes of the Parish Council’s Finance Working Party meeting (10th January) when the Budget and Precept were discussed in detail is available to view on the Parish Council website Finance Working Party Minutes 10th Jan 2022.
Budget for 2022-23
For those not online, a copy can also be obtained by contacting officers on 01225 705700 or by email email@example.com