Article for February Messenger

Firstly, I hope you all had a Good Christmas, however different it might have been. Secondly, a belated Happy New Year to everyone, and let us hope that 2021 is a better year for us all.

By the time you read this, many of you will have already had your Covid Vaccination, either at Ramsbury, where the first phase was done, or here in Pewsey, which is underway as I write. Pewsey Surgery staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to get hundreds of patients through the vaccine process as smoothly and efficiently as possible and we are very grateful to them. Thanks also go to Councillor Ann Hogg who, in her role as a member of KAMP, Patients Participation Group (PPG) organised rotas of volunteer marshals to help manage the inevitable queues. Other members of the PPG, fellow Councillors and their partners, and a number of other community volunteers came forward and high viz jackets contributed to the success of the vaccination effort a big “Thank you”. Of course, until everyone is protected, we all still need to remain vigilant, and follow the guidelines of hand-washing, wearing facemasks and social distancing, but at last there is a chink of light at the end of this dark tunnel!

This time last year we were discussing Service Devolution and Asset Transfer (SDAT), that is, the transfer from Wiltshire Council of various assets and responsibilities. One of the key components was to negotiate with IdVerde a 3 year contract, merging our existing Parish Council contract with the extra work taken on from Wiltshire Council.   

As with all change, there were a few teething issues early on, but we are now pleased with the way things are working, with the village generally cleaner than before. Some works which have been outstanding for many years have now been completed and others planned for. I sincerely thank the Parish Council Environment Team for the way the contract has been managed thus far and is confident they will continue the good work going forward.

Budgeting for SDAT and our other responsibilities is not an exact science, but we looked carefully at what we spend and how we spend it. Last year we budgeted to spend £167,480. This year, through firmer negotiation and tighter management, we have included more services but reduced that figure to £163,818, enabling us to deliver more whilst spending less.

It is Parish Council policy to be transparent about how your money (“Precept”) is spent, and I am pleased to present the budget figures we used: 

Last year, the Parish Precept on a Band D property was increased by 31 pence per week. Taking into consideration the financial pressures and difficulties that the past year has brought, to individuals, families, and to public services, we have been keen to keep  rates low, and therefore your precept for the year (from April) will only have a small increase of 16 pence per week. We will balance accounts using some of our reserves. We cannot guarantee to do this forever, but believe that this exceptional year justifies such a move.

The expenditure budget for April 2021 to March 2022 is made up as follows:-

Administration:  Office, Insurances, Legal Fees, Parish Clerk,  etc                        £58,478

Car Park: Maintenance         £3,000

General Village Maintenance                                                                                 £12,520                  

Cemetery, Grass Cutting, Hedges Litter Electricity and Water                               £10,850          

7 Children’s Play Areas and Outside Gym:         £15,000  Repairs, grass cutting, litter, weekly H&S Inspections, Insurance

I D Verde Grounds Maintenance: Grass Cutting, Hedging, Litter Etc                    £41,080

Public Toilets: Daily Cleaning, Water, Electricity, Consumables Etc                     £11,200

Trees: Removal/Maintenance                                                                                 £8,000

Donations: Messenger, Heritage Centre, Carnival + Others                                    £3,490

                                                                                           TOTAL                     £163,618

The following income is expected:

Rents from sports clubs and allotments                                                                £5,710

Expected Precept                                                                                               £140,043

Funded from Reserves                                                                                         £17,865

                                                                                                     TOTAL           £163,618

I am grateful for the support of my fellow Councillors and for the many other volunteers who provide so many hours of unpaid work in our community. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

Finally, unless things change, local elections will take place on 6th May. Several long-serving Councillors will not be seeking re-election, so if any of you might be interested in joining the Parish Council, please contact our Clerk.

Curly Haskell

Chairman Pewsey Parish Council

January 2021

We would like to remind you that you can report any Highways, street scene, or rights of way issues on the MyWiltshireApp.

http.//www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywiltshire-online-reporting

The public can attend any Full Council Zoom meetings  to raise any issues of importance. They are held on every 2nd Tuesday from 7.00pm.  Agendas, minutes, and dates of meetings can be found on our website. 

The Parish Office remains closed to the public until Covid restrictions are lifted

All enquiries to the Parish Clerk, Parish Office, Bouverie Hall, Goddard Road, Pewsey. SN9 5EQ.  Tel: 01672 562014.  Email: the.clerk@pewsey-pc.gov.uk.

Follow us on our Facebook page, or go to our website