2.5% Reduction in the Parish Council Budget for 2009/10

‘The budget for this coming year is £126,025 a reduction of 2.5% compared to last year. Out of this, £88,000 of the budget goes on running the village, maintaining the standards that we enjoy. This includes monies for salaries, insurance, parish office rental and other general administration expenses. Other expenditure includes,  £5,000 for the joint Clowne and Barlborough burial ground, £12,000 for gardening and maintenance and £13,000 for grass cutting and £3,000 for CCTV. Barlborough First believe that this offers exceptional value for money.
As you know, Barlborough First is an independent group set up to work solely for Barlborough. As such it is not answerable to, or controlled by any political party. Therefore we are able to discuss and promote ideas for our community free of party politics. After consulting with councillors, residents and other outside bodies we would like to highlight some of the main features of the budget:
 1. Lighting improvements—£15,000 will go towards improving lighting in Doreen’s garden, a new lighting scheme for Low Common (which currently has no street lights) and replacement lamp posts on High Street. It currently costs around £1,500 per year for festive lighting columns because the unsuitability of the old concrete lamp posts. This will allow us to reinstate the hanging baskets to the centre of the village and extend the scheme down New Road.
 2. Environment—£10,000 towards environmental projects. This will include re-landscaping the Slayley Green triangle to include new stone planters, paving and seating. With new lighting soon to be installed, it will transform the area. The stone village entrance signs will be refurbished as part of the programme.  In addition, there will be continued improvements to the hedgerows to extend wildlife habitats, a tree planting scheme along Oxcroft Way to counteract the effects of traffic noise and pollution in what has been designated an Air Quality Management Area.
 3. Youth provision—£5,000 will be invested in promoting youth provision activities. It will allow us to get our children more involved with the local community. The activities will be run in conjunction with our local community police beat team and local youth organisations. So it will give our children a sense of belonging and pride in their surroundings. Our youngsters deserve more than to just have a metal youth shelter stuck up for them!
 4. Community Events—£10,000 for community events such as our annual Fun Run, Brass on the Grass, Festival Event / It’s a Knockout, festive lantern parade and finally, (at the beginning of December) a mobile ice skating rink – it promises to be fun!
 We also had to consider our reserves and associated spending. We have already committed funding towards a new £25,000 play area on Ruthyn Avenue. £25,000 is ring fenced for extending the   village CCTV system and monies set aside for improvements to the car park on the Country Park.
5. Country Park—A further £30,000 is being allocated to the Country Park for improved     access from Clowne Road, installing a footpath scheme along with improvements to the planted and play areas. This will complete the long awaited second phase of the Country Park scheme. The Country Park is a fantastic community asset and these latest improvements will increase access and extend provision for local residents.
 6. Improved access—£10,000 has also been allocated for disabled door access for the village buildings, the Little School, Resource Centre and Village Hall. We at Barlborough First have, and always will, support the buildings.
 7. Supporting our Police—We have taken our lead from Bolsover District Council by allocating money to sponsor a police support vehicle.  Up to £12,000 has been set aside for a vehicle to be used specifically by our beat team and police community support officers in Barlborough. This will enable the team to respond quickly to (non-emergency) local problems. More often than not, our police have to walk or cycle to Barlborough from the Clowne police station. It was highlighted at a recent police/public liaison meeting that one of the biggest issues in Barlborough is the fear of crime. This vehicle could be used very effectively by the police to address this issue, particularly if combined with CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras.
Finally, we have also announced for the first time in over a decade a drop in the precept (budget) of over 2.5%. We would have liked to have made a bigger saving but due to the costs incurred by the previous Labour controlled parish council, since August 2008 we have had to put the Parish Council back on track.
For example, did you know that…
a. Because of the Labour Party’s actions over £3,000 of our Council Tax has been spent on legal fees (for political reasons) contesting a valid county court judgement, then settling out of court?
b. Because of the Labour Party’s actions £5,000 more of our Council Tax has been spent on  legal fees to avoid another possible court case costing tens of thousands of pounds? In      addition to the £5,000 in fees, there was a substantial five figure settlement.
Barlborough First is committed to ensuring the money you pay for Barlborough is spent in Barlborough (and will not be playing party politics with it).
In January 2009, your Labour councillors voted against the council tax reduction, and the proposals outlined above’

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