DCSIMG

Selston Parish Council may be abolished if cuts made to grant funding

Selston Parish Council against a 100% cut to their budget. Front sat is l-r Cllr Sue Jackson, Cllr Gail Turner, Chair of Council Sam Wilson. Back l-r is Lisa Simpson Parish Facilities Manager, Cllr Sharon Alvey, Philip Selby Caretaker and Cllr Shane Ross.

Selston Parish Council against a 100% cut to their budget. Front sat is l-r Cllr Sue Jackson, Cllr Gail Turner, Chair of Council Sam Wilson. Back l-r is Lisa Simpson Parish Facilities Manager, Cllr Sharon Alvey, Philip Selby Caretaker and Cllr Shane Ross.

 

Selston Parish councillors have said they are furious over Ashfield District Council’s proposals to scrap its grant funding.

Sam Wilson, chair of Selston Parish Council, has said the future of the parish council is in doubt if the vital grant fund is cut.

The parish council currently owns and maintains all community buildings and 17 recreation grounds across the parish. But its ability to run community services may soon be abolished.

“The £31,000 grant is paid to Ashfield District Council from Central Government to pass onto the parish councils. But Ashfield is proposing not to pay over the money, effectively stealing services from Selston Parish Council.

“We are looking to pass the recreation grounds over to Ashfield as we won’t be able to afford to maintain them, which will cost the district council more in the long run,” He said.

Ashfield District Council said it needs to make savings of £800k in 2014/15 in order to balance the budget.

Chris Baron, council leader, said: “We regret having to make any cuts and would prefer not to be in this situation. The scale of the reduction in government funding makes some reductions inevitable.

“Councillors have had to consider many areas of discretionary spending and are proposing to cut back on some areas where the council is not legally obliged to spend.

“The cuts to public sector funding nationally have been so significant that the impact is felt not only by county and district councils, but also by parishes.”

Coun Robert Sears-Piccavey, chair of finance, said the parish council has built up strong partnerships with groups like the Community Payback Team, allowing it to deliver services cheaper.

He said: “The parish council has worked really hard over the past 18 months working with residents and voluntary groups to maintain the services offered by the parish council.”

The grant from Ashfield District Council has also meant the parish council can keep the same hire rates for more than 30 community groups who use the parish hall and can not afford higher rates.

Coun Sears-Piccavey added: “If we have to increase the charges many of these groups will have to close, which especially affect vulnerable and elderly residents leaving them isolated in their homes.”

 

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