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The Lee Newsletter
April 2015
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Parish Council want your vote
By John Ford, Chairman

There will be elections to the Parish Council to be held on 7th May alongside the General and District Council elections. Whilst this is unlikely to enjoy the same level of attention it is an opportunity for Parish Councillors to stand again and some new faces to be elected.

The Parish Council is strictly non- party-political. We are all independents working for the good of the village. Being a Parish Councillor is therefore not a path to political glory but an opportunity to make a contribution to village life. We manage the assets of the parish such as the playground, the well, the war memorial and the allotments. We are closely involved in planning decisions, although we recommend and do not approve. We also work closely with the District and County Councils as the voice of residents in matters such as highway maintenance.

No doubt the HS2 campaign will remain an important topic in the next few years. The Parish Council expects to be heavily involved in the petitioning process and will be working with CRAG to ensure a fair deal for residents.

We meet once every two months and there are bits and pieces of work to do in between.

If anyone is interested in standing please let me know on 837726 or john.ford35@btinternet.com. The deadline for applications is 9th April. Any resident of The Lee Parish, including Kings Ash, Hunts Green, Swan Bottom and Lee Common, who is over 18, is eligible to stand.

Precept higher than hoped
The Parish Council has set the precept, which is its share of the council tax, at £9,500. The council tax is made up of several components such as the county and district councils and the police and fire authorities. The parish council part is the smallest. This is a rise of 19% on the previous year and is higher than we would like. The precept is the major part of our annual funding so it is clear that the turnover of the parish council is actually very small.

Most of our expenses relate to the maintenance of council assets. Jo Jordan, our clerk, has recently undertaken an extensive review and we now have a much clearer idea of their condition. Unfortunately some repair or replacement of parts is now unavoidable for items such as the notice boards, the well and many of the benches. We also need to continue to build a reserve in order to replace or further renovate the playground fort at some future date. Although the percentage increase looks high the total precept when spread across all properties is roughly £24 per property for the coming year.

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