Every year parish councils are required to review their budget and set a precept for the following financial year. The precept is the element of council tax that parish councils request to pay for the important work they undertake.
IFPC carefully budgets its precept to maintain our villages. It pays for the upkeep of Fryerning Cemetery and Fairfield recreation ground, the closed churchyards in Ingatestone and Fryerning and our playground facilities. We pay for parish council owned bins and dog waste bins to be emptied and for planting and watering flowerbeds and planters. IFPC subsidises the two-hour free parking at Bell Mead and Market Place along with many other individual projects, including this year’s High Street Christmas trees.
At the full council meeting on the 11 January, it was resolved that the parish precept be increased by 6% or £9,366 from £156,100 to £165,466 which is equivalent to a year’s increase of £3.92 for a Band D property for the coming financial year (2018-19). This decision was not taken lightly and was discussed at length.
The primary reason behind the increase in the precept is because of the removal of the discretionary grant that all parish councils had previously received from Brentwood Borough Council. For IFPC this equated to a loss of £9,969.
All parish councils are also faced with the threat of central government precept capping, which would effectively result in a reduction of funding in real terms. Therefore, it was prudent that IFPC increased the precept to include the grant loss before capping came into force.
Parish councils must also prove that they are financially secure and able to cover all short-term liabilities. With this increase in the precept and the parish council’s reserves policy, IFPC can demonstrate that this requirement is in place.
IFPC chair, Cllr Paul Jeater comments “The parish council were very conscious of the need to be prudent in the current economic climate, however, an announcement from Brentwood Borough Council advised us that we would not be receiving any additional grants from now on. This substantial loss of money has regrettably meant that we have had little alternative but to raise the precept this coming financial year. We have a number of exciting projects planned for 2018 – 2019 including the renovation of Seymour Field and Pavilion and the creation of an apprenticeship. As ever, we will be striving to obtain grants from as many sources as possible to assist in these ventures.”
Save over £250 on your gas and electric bills by joining the Essex Energy Switch. With the costs of heating our homes over winter appearing to rise every year, the Essex Energy Switch is a free, easy and secure way to cut energy bills. The county’s collective switching initiative has already saved thousands of us £2,297,539 over the past five switches.
Registration opens on Tuesday 5 December, and closes on Tuesday 13 February 2018, before the one-day auction. One email address can be used up to five times to register for the scheme to help out those who don't have access to the internet. Everyone who registers will receive a personalised offer on 23 February 2018, which details how much they could save by switching to the winning provider, or cheaper tariff.
A message from Highways England
A12 junction 13 Ingatestone
I am writing to provide you with details about maintenance work we will soon be carrying out to the A12 junction 13 southbound exit slip road at Ingatestone, to the south west of Chelmsford. This scheme forms part of a wider package of works to deliver essential maintenance and improvements on A12, A11, A14 and A120 in Essex and Suffolk.
This work involves the renewal of road markings and signage.
We will start this work on 20 November and plan to be finished on 24 November.
We will be working overnight between Monday to Friday 8pm to 6am.
To complete this work safely and minimise disruption to the travelling public there will be overnight closures in place on junction 13 southbound slip road.
Road users wishing to leave the A12 at junction 13 will be diverted to junction 12 where they can return to junction 13 and leave the A12 via the junction 13 northbound exit slip road.
We have written to local residents to inform them of these improvements and we would be grateful if you would publicise the details to your parishioners through newsletters and other communications where appropriate.
Find out more and contact us
I would like to thank you for your patience while we deliver these essential works.
Project Manager, Jacobs
Consultation period - 19 September - 6 November
I would like to invite you to help us make decisions on the future of the mobile library service.
At Essex County Council, we know how much people value their mobile libraries. But we also know that in recent years, fewer and fewer people have been taking advantage of them.
Combined with other factors, such as vehicles which are coming to the end of their working lives, we have reached a point where the right thing to do is look again at how we provide these services.
This is why we are consulting you about how we create a new library service which is a better fit with people’s lives across Essex.
We want a service which is available at a place and time which suits users; a service which is flexible enough to help volunteers set up a community library in a village hall, pub, sports club or shop. We want a service where volunteers deliver books directly to the door, and can stop to chat with the residents so that we contribute to ending social isolation. These services already work well in villages across Essex and we want to extend that provision. We want a service which is able to respond to different local needs and settings and to have books available to more people more of the time.
We don’t want a service which wastes money by having mobile library buses parked in locations at times when no one visits, which is unfortunately what happens on some occasions now.
Most of all, we want everyone in Essex to get involved, have their say on our ideas and share their own.
You can find more information about our proposals and complete the survey at www.librariesconsultation.essex.gov.uk
Separate surveys are also available online for children and young people under 16 and in EasyRead. If they would rather complete the survey on paper, they can pick up a copy of the consultation pack at any library or mobile library and return it using the business reply envelope in the pack (no stamp needed).
For help to complete the survey, or if someone would like it in large print or would like a printed copy of the children’s or EasyRead versions, please call 0345 603 7628.
The deadline for replies is 6 November 2017.
All the responses from the consultation will be analysed and a formal report produced. This will be published on the consultation website and available on request for those without internet access. The analysis will be used to help us decide what changes will be implemented.
There’s less than three weeks left to get your applications in to get funding for two grant schemes in Brentwood.
They are the Brentwood Community Fund (deadline is September 29) and the Brentwood Mental Health and Wellbeing Small Grant Scheme (you have until October 1 to get your applications in).
The Brentwood Community Fund
The Council is inviting bids from individuals, groups and organisations for a share of the cash on offer for local causes and projects that will support and improve the quality of life for local people and tackle the issues that they think are important. All applications must benefit Brentwood's communities. Projects must be delivered in the Borough and take place between 1st January 2018 and 31st December 2018. The fund has £16,300 available in total in the current financial year, and grants of up to £2,000 are available for applicants.
You have until September 29 to get your applications in.
Brentwood Mental Health and Wellbeing Small Grant Scheme
The new grant has been set up to give communities the opportunity to promote local initiatives to support the mental health and wellbeing of the people living within the Borough. All applications must benefit Brentwood's communities. Projects must be delivered in the Borough and take place between 1st November 2017 and 1st November 2018. There is £10,000 available as part of the fund and community groups, individuals and organisations can apply for grants for up to £1,200 for local causes and projects that will support and improve mental health and wellbeing for local people.
You have until October 1 to get your applications in.
Brentwood Borough Council’s Chair of the Community, Health and Housing Committee, Councillor Chris Hossack, said: “Local residents, groups or organisations can get a bit of extra financial help with their projects with the Brentwood Community Fund.
There are grants of up to £2,000 available for causes and projects that will improve the quality of life for local people and tackle the issues that they think are important.”
Brentwood Health and Wellbeing Board Chair Councillor Olivia Sanders added: “The Brentwood Mental Health and Wellbeing Small Grant Scheme aims to help encourage opportunities for projects to support the mental wellbeing of others and to work together to promote good mental health.
The deadline is not far away, so I would encourage anyone who would like to apply for a grant of up to £1,200 to get their applications in soon.”
Please note both funding streams have criteria that the Council would expect to see links to one or more of in your application.
For more information and to apply, please visit www.brentwood.gov.uk/funding
Brentwood Borough Council is asking residents in the Borough to look out for the form and to make sure that they respond as soon as possible.
The form ensures that the Council can keep the electoral register up to date and identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so.
With Brentwood Borough Council elections taking place in May 2018, this is an important opportunity for residents to make sure they will be able to take part.
Phil Ruck, Electoral Registration Officer at Brentwood Borough Council: said: “It’s important that residents respond as soon as possible, so we can make sure we have the right details on the electoral register for every address in Brentwood. To make sure you are able to have your say at the elections next year, simply check the form when it arrives and respond as soon as you can.
“If you’re not currently registered, your name will not appear on the form. If you want to register, the easiest way is online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, or we’ll send you information explaining how to do this. In any case, you will still need to complete the form and send it back to us.”
People who have moved address recently are particularly encouraged to keep an eye out for the form and check the details. Research by the independent Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 96% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered, compared to 27% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.
Melanie Davidson, Head of Support and Improvement at the Electoral Commission, said: “It’s really important that everyone who is entitled to vote is able to do so; checking the form that will arrive through the post is one of the easiest ways to find out if you are already registered. There’s lots of helpful information about registering to vote on our website www.yourvotematters.co.uk.”
Any residents who have any questions can contact the local registration team by calling 01277 312500.