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By Tarvin Parish Council - 24th March 2016 6:00am
The Parish Council was dismayed, though by no means surprised, to learn that Cheshire West and Chester Council have decided to cease allocating 20% of the New Homes Bonus to the parishes where the new homes are built. This means that, for Tarvin Parish, the £29,000 received from the completion of the new homes built since 2011 will be all that they receive.
The policy was introduced by the Coalition Government to incentivise councils to build more houses and to provide a form of compensation for the extra costs and pressures to the infrastructure and community that such development can bring. Borough Councils were not obliged to pass any of this money on the Parish Councils, but the 20% allocated to them by CW&C was welcomed. As the bonus was to be paid over 6 years, the amounts that a Parish Council might reasonably expect could run into six figures. Parish Councils were also told that they could borrow for large scale improvements against the anticipated income.
Unfortunately the new realities of local government finance has made CW&C change its policy. Though they will still receive the central government grant, all will be allocated to borough wide priorities and spending in Tarvin will now only take place in the context of wider needs. As Tarvin is a relatively well-off parish and does not have the problems that affect other, poorer parts of the borough, the Parish Council fears that Tarvin will receive no spending from this source in the future.
The money that Tarvin has received can be spent within the Parish at the Parish Council's discretion. They are currently looking at a number of projects including solar powered speed controls in Oscroft, interpretation panels at the Roman Bridges, footpath improvements, better village signage and improvements to Duckers Well. When costings for these are received, the Council will be well placed to look at other requests, like that received from the Primary School for technical equipment.
The Parish Council is very aware of the financial constraints affecting local government and understands that the decision to remove the 20% was not taken lightly. But it regrets that this element of 'local money for local projects' has been removed and that the parishes that take the new housing are not directly compensated for the impact that occurs when that development goes ahead.
Ed. So what do Tarvin Residents think of this decision? Add your comment below or let us know on Facebook.
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