Parish council precepts affected by changes to council tax support
From April this year, the existing national housing benefit scheme will be abolished. It will be replaced by local schemes run by individual district councils. The Government has chosen to fund the schemes in such a way that it will impact adversely on local tax bases, which are used to calculate parish council precepts.
In the first year of operation, NFDC will receive a transitional grant which can be passed on to parishes to offset any additional costs. At the time of writing NFDC intends to pass this grant on while at the same time having to make its own cost savings.
For 2013/14, the parish council will have some additional costs arising from one or two new projects.
While the precept is being at £14,700, there will be a small increase in the parish council tax because of the changes to tax bases.
Red telephone boxes
Residents will be aware that the parish council decided to purchase and refurbish three red telephone boxes in the parish, following BT’s decision to remove the kiosks. These are in Winsor Road, Pound Lane and Newbridge Road.
To date the boxes have been repaired and re-painted but the parish council will now be considering the installation of simple information panels to provide details about the parish and local services. Other uses for the kiosks might be considered over a period of time.
Parish Council Grant Scheme
Modest grants are available from the parish council to help local groups and organisations with small projects. Grant applications are considered three times a year, the deadline for the next round being 26 February 2013.
For more information about the scheme and to obtain an application form, please contact the Parish Clerk or visit the parish council website at www.copythorne.org.uk (article on homepage).
3 steps to a greener home
Holding on to more of the heat you pay for is a sensible way to reduce your energy bills. In an older home 3 key steps will help to achieve this:
1. Draught-proofing: Start by draught-proofing doors, windows, letterboxes, keyholes and cat flaps. Install extractor fans in kitchens and bathrooms so you don’t need to open windows.
2. Insulation: You’ve put 270mm in the loft – now to the walls. If they aren’t cavity walls which are easily insulated, sold wall insulation may suit.
3. Improved glazing: Energy efficient glazing is now available to replace single glazing, even in original sash window frames. If upgrading isn’t affordable, consider removable secondary glazing. Failing that a thick pair of curtains helps!
For more information, visit www.superhomes.org.uk
Annual Parish Meeting
This year’s Annual Parish Meeting is on Wednesday 13 March at 7.30 pm in Copythorne Parish Hall (rear extension). The meeting gives an opportunity to meet your County, District and Parish Councillors and provides a forum for local residents to raise matters of local interest or concern. Light refreshments will be available before the meeting.
The local Safer Neighbourhood Team’s latest beat report, showing crime figures for the beat area during December, should be on the parish council’s website soon. The beat officer, PC Dee Faulkner, continues to hold beat surgeries on the first Wednesday of the month, including at Bartley Stores from 12 noon to 1 pm.
The Parish Council discusses all planning applications at each of its meetings – on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month If you think you may be affected by an application, the Council would be pleased to hear your views to help form a response to the planning authority (either the New Forest National Park Authority or New Forest District Council).
Comments can be made to the Parish Council either by letter or in person in the public participation session at the start of each meeting. Applications due to be considered at the next meeting can be found by clicking on Planning on the top menu on the Council’s website at www.copythorne.org.uk
The Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7 pm in the Copythorne Parish Hall (rear extension). Members of the public are very welcome to attend the meetings and speak on any matter of concern at the start of the meeting.
The dates of the next few meetings are:
Tuesday 12 February 2013 Planning
Tuesday 26 February 2013 Council
Tuesday 12 March 2013 Planning
Wednesday 13 March 2013 Annual Parish Meeting (7.30 pm)
The Clerk to the Council (Mike Derrick) can be contacted at
3 Chichester Close,
Telephone and fax 01794 322080,