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Spending the New Homes Bonus

6th July 2014 @ 6:06am – by Tarvin Parish Council
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Recent changes to the law now mean that communities where new developments take place are eligible for government money called the New Homes Bonus.

Though the bulk of this – 80% – goes to the Planning authority, in our case CW&C, the remaining 20% comes direct to the Parish Council. The bonus is paid depending on the number of new homes completed and will carry on for a number of years. Given the number of new homes currently approved and under construction in Tarvin, this could, in time, amount to a significant sum.

The Parish Council has already had about £5,000 from this fund and the Council meeting on Monday evening set about finding suitable and appropriate things to spend it on. Over 20 suggestions had been put forward by Councillors and it proved a complex and delicate task to find the most appropriate way of using the money!

It was agreed that the money should not be spent on providing things that should be provided by CW&C from the general rate income e.g. highway improvements, or would be well outside the current money available. Suggestion such as the resurfacing of the Playing Field car park, new recreation land/facilities/providing allotments and a Skatepark were deferred until more funds were available.
The following major projects were agreed:

  • A defibrillator will be purchased and will probably be kept on the Playing field in a suitably secure box. Modern equipment can now be safely used without specific training as clear and explicit instruction are given within the box.
  • Brown 'local attraction' signs will be placed at the three entrances to Tarvin to encourage visitors to use the amenities and businesses.

The discussion raised some other issues which, for a minor cost, could improve the Parish including:

  • A local footpath map could be reproduced and publically displayed on the Parish Council noticeboards and website.
  • Contact could be made with the local organisation Green Space to discuss the formation of a volunteer group to keep local footpaths clear of weeds and vegetation, a job no longer done by CW&C

It was also agreed that whenever possible matched funding from the Ward Member's discretionary grants would be sought to increase the range of projects that can be tackled.

In a separate decision it was agreed that some of the £500 compensation received from Lloyds Bank after recent, complex and protracted 'human errors' that left the Parish Council embarrassed and the Clerk tearing his hair out, would be spent on a new Village Noticeboard as the existing one on the Red Lion car park wall is extremely well worn.

The Parish Council looks forward with some relish to the prospect of spending some more
money in the future.

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