DRAFT BUDGET for NVMC 2007/08 PUBLIC CONSULTATION

Posted by Admin on Monday, 20th November 2006, 00:00

 Overview.

A few weeks ago, I received an Email from Sue Chilton requesting that ‘realistic’ budget be set for next year. Having spoken to Roger Mazillius during the summer holidays, it was suggested that Northwood’s special allowance contained within the Isle of Wight Council’s Council Tax Precept was set between £3000 and £5000. In writing a draft budget of £6000, I was told that the Council did not consider £6000 to be realistic, given the challenges faced by Management Committees. It was suggested that the prudent budget overleaf was considered more ‘realistic’, I will endeavour to itemise expenditure on a step by step process. Next years budget, if and when amended following consultation will be formally adopted at the NVMC’s December meeting.

Clerk (£2100) and Expenses (£400)

It should be noted that Bob Blezzard currently exceeds the 12 hours for which he is paid. All excess is currently undertaken by Bob on a voluntary basis. Bob has suggested that next year, to continue to do this work and any necessary work relating to bring in Grants for future Projects, it would be necessary to pay him for up to 20 hours per month. Next year the rate will increase from £8.50 to £8.80 in line with inflation.

Potential Savings:

Insurance (£400 Essential Expenditure)

Next year this will be in the region of the £400 specified, there is likely to be little deviation from this figure.

Meetings/ Hall Hire (£300)

One Statutory Obligation which the Northwood Village Management Committee has is to comment on Planning Applications. The timeframe for representations for Applications is usually 21 days. This means that the minimum that the NVMC can meet is two times per month. In addition to this it is also necessary to call meetings for Northwood Community Partnership (now a community/ residents driven organisation responsible for Neighbourhood Watch and Northwood In Bloom) and the Committee responsible for our Community Plan. This year members of the Community Partnership voted to become the Project Development arm of the NVMC.

Potential Savings:

Maintenance of Street Furniture (£200)

This budget is set aside for maintenance, but also includes a budget for removal of graffiti, litter collection and other anomalies. This budget is dependent upon volunteers being able to do these jobs, rather than paid professionals and covers the cost of materials for any jobs required in Northwood.

Dog Bins (£700).

The £700 budget covers the escalating costs of emptying 3 dog bins in the village. All other bins are paid for by the Isle of Wight Council.

Potential Savings:

Grants to Local Good Causes (£500).

This enables organisations to help themselves in seeking funds for projects. Many Grant Agencies expect local organisations, to receive Financial Support or help in kind by Parish Councils or similar groups. This enables local groups to help themselves, and is a good means of reducing the work load of the Parish Clerk in writing such bids, whilst raising the NVMC’s profile. It should be noted that last year no budget was set aside for this purpose.

Potential Savings:

Training (£400).

There is an expectation that all Management Committee members are properly trained. The Isle of Wight Council suggests a realistic budget for this purpose is £1250. In my view I consider this to be excessive, and would personally find this difficult to justify any such figure to residents. From the Isle of Wight Council’s perspective they remain of the view that if you expect volunteers to give up their time freely, it is to be expected that members are equipped adequately to fulfil the responsibilities required of them.

Potential savings:

Subscriptions (£200).

It has been suggested that we consider subscribing to the IW Association of Town & Parish Councils. This will affiliate the shadow parish council to the National Association of Local Councils, and will give the NVMC more status and recognition that it holds currently. One of the many benefits of affiliating is the NVMC could tap in to legal support if required, and would also offer members to work with and network more closely with other parish and town councils. There is also an Annual Free Conference which includes notable speakers and training. The cost for this is approx £200 for Northwood. Also set aside is £50 to cover any additional subscriptions, affiliations or publications necessary to assist and support committee members in the execution of their duties.

Potential Savings:

Communications, Publicity and Advertising (£200).

Traditionally, within the Northwood News there has always been a feature from Community Groups publicising what they actually do in Northwood. The Council and all local Residents have the right to be informed of when meetings are held, projects undertaken, who the NVMC are and how we are relevant. In addition to this we are expected to provide contact details and an Annual Report to each household in the village, which is a key for success in receiving Grant Funding within the Parish Award scheme. The Council considers £200, is a very prudent amount of money set aside for communications.

Potential Savings:

Contingencies and Funding for Unspecified ‘Parish’ Projects (£500)

This budget can be set aside to cater for projects that can only be pursued on behalf of ‘Parish Council’ type organisations, and could be relevant following adoption of next years Parish Plan.

Failing this any further balances can be set aside for any other purpose, that may arise within next years budget. Once again, I have been advised that this figure is considered to be very low. Typically, elsewhere budgets of a third to a quarter of the annual budget are considered reasonable to sustain Parish Council’s within their balances. However, the existing policy of the IW Council is unhelpful as they will not permit Management Committees to role over funds from one year to the next.

Potential Savings:

Parish Council Set Up Costs (£400)

It is perceived that elections for the new Northwood Parish Council, will take place in May 2008. It seems likely that there will be a requirement for the Management Committee to prepare for this through Publicity and Communications for this purpose.

Potential Savings:

Parish Plan (£300)

When the Northwood Community Partnership was successful in its bid to receive its grant for the Parish Plan, there was a condition that we would self finance a proportion of the total expenditure ourselves. This budget relates to any contingency required for this purpose.

Potential Savings:

Northwood Community Partnership Projects (£1400):

Northwood In Bloom (£600); Unspecified ’Community’ Projects (£600)

Neighbourhood Watch Projects- No Cold Calling (£100); Welcome Packs (£100)

The Northwood Community Partnership have already agreed to request £600 from the NVMC for Northwood In Bloom for next year. One of the concerns highlighted by The Partnership, was the availability of volunteers to water plants through the summer months, and the need to get outside contractors to water some planters maybe necessary unless more volunteers can be found. Northwood In Bloom provides the community with a high visual profile for the work of the NVMC and the Northwood Community Partnership, and is supported by the community as a whole in Northwood.

The Two Projects listed for Neighbourhood Watch are dependent on sourcing funds from other sources. So far an additional £200 has been forthcoming from Private and Business Donations, whilst upto £500 has been set aside by a fund ring-fenced by the Former Northwood Residents for such projects for the No Cold Calling Scheme. Further support in kind has been forthcoming from IWC Trading Standards, with the potential of a £300 support being made available from BT.

Other projects, to be confirmed will be funded in partnership from other Funding Agencies.

Potential Savings:

Consultation.

Do you, or your family consider the figures that the Northwood Village Management Committee are too high, or too low. Are we spending your Council Tax in an appropriate way on the things in Northwood you would like to see? Should we be funding a particular service that you want too see, or are we spending money on services that you don’t. Either way please let us know your comments, queries and suggestions before 9am, Friday 1 December.

Paul Fuller, Chairman

Northwood Village Management Committee

74 Wyatts Lane,

Northwood,

Isle of Wight.

PO31 8QA.

Telephone: 289595.

Email: paulfuller@onwight.net

Expense/ Project.

Cost to NVMC

Clerk (20hrs per month @ £8.80 x 12)

£2100.00

Clerks Expenses, Administration + Travel

£400.00

Insurance

£400.00

Meetings/ Hall Hire (22 x £10 + WI Hall Hire)

£300.00

Communications, Publicity and Advertising

£200.00

Training

£400.00

Maintenance of Street Furniture etc.

£200.00

Dog Bins and Collection Thereof

£700.00

Parish Plan

£300.00

Unspecified Projects and Contingencies

£500.00

Grants

£500.00

Subscriptions

£200.00

Parish Council Set Up Costs

£400.00

Northwood Community Partnership Projects

Northwood In Bloom

£600.00

Neighbourhood Watch Projects

£200.00

As yet, unspecified Projects

£600.00

Total:

£8000.00

Comments:

Name: Address:

Telephone Number:

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