The precept is a tax that Town and Parish Council’s charge their local electors to meet their budget requirements, and it is included in the annual Council Tax levied by North Somerset Council.
Nailsea Town Council has set its precept at £91 per annum for a Band D property this financial year. This is a small increase of £6 per annum from last year, although this figure will be slightly more or less depending on which Band of property you live in.
The financial uncertainty that many of our residents face has been at the forefront of our minds as we set the precept. The Council understands that any increase in cost is unwelcome and it has worked hard to keep its spending to a minimum. This precept rise will enable the Council to deliver services in the face of considerable inflationary pressure on its own expenditure.
The precept helps deliver a wide range of services for the town, as well as funding local community projects and groups.
65 High Street
For example, you may not know that the Council runs No. 65; a community venue based on the High Street. It has a particular – but not exclusive – focus on health and wellbeing. Our 65 Manager is incredibly knowledgeable about the help available and how residents can access it.
No. 65 is considered nationally as a flagship project connecting people in an informal, welcoming and accessible way. Its ethos includes developing relationships with and between the widest possible range of organisations and groups within the town and beyond, supporting them to achieve their aims, and the Council have set aside £59,200 for the running of this.
No. 65 is currently the base for a number of local community groups including Nailsea Disability Initiative, Citizen’s Advice and the town’s Youth Club, Area 6t5, which is run by Foreal. It is also the location of the newly launched Arts Centre; an initiative to bring the huge amount of local talent we have into a space where new skills can be learnt and taught through evening and weekend classes.
The Council is also responsible for the daily management, caretaking and booking of the Tithe Barn. It works together with the Tithe Barn Trust to ensure that the Barn is available for use by groups within the local community who are seeking to provide educational, social, spiritual and recreation services for the benefit of local residents.
Groups who use the Tithe Barn include the Nailsea District Leg Club and Nailsea Memory Café. It is also visited by school children on educational visits and is a licensed venue for a number of celebratory events including weddings, christenings and end of life celebrations. Income raised from these events will be used to offset the £60,900 running costs of the Tithe Barn and is currently forecast to be around £57,000 this year.
The Council has invested £6,900 in improving engagement with local residents and to look after our websites; nailseatown.com, nailseatowncouncil.gov.uk and nailseaartscentre.co.uk.
The Council will award £98,228 in grants this year to local organisations, many of which provide services to local people in need of help and support.
The Council looks after a number of open spaces in Nailsea, including Hannah More Park and Golden Valley Bridleway, and it will be spending £45,915 to maintain these alongside a number of other areas. The Town Centre is maintained by our Town Orderly, and £10,500 has been allocated to the emptying of dog waste bins are Nailsea.
£4,800 has been allocated to inspect and maintain the Hannah More play area and the skate park, which are both owned by the Council. A project to install floodlighting at the skate park is currently underway and will be funded by Nailsea Town Council, with a grant from the Police Community Trust.
Regular maintenance and preventative inspections are an important part of Council activities and ensures street furniture owned by the Council – such as a number of the town’s benches, noticeboards, 5 of its bus shelters, litter and dog bins, and a small number of street lights – are in good working order, with £8,300 allocated for this.
A number of high-tech CCTV cameras covering the town centre and Millennium Park are funded by the Council and a charge of £19,100 is paid to North Somerset Council to monitor and maintain them.
A 30,000 payment will be made to North Somerset Council in ‘Special Expenses’ to cover the maintenance of play areas and open spaces that they own within Nailsea, e.g. Millennium Park and Trendlewood Play Area. ‘Special Expenses’ are charges levied on individual residents within a town or parish. The charges relate to the cost of services which are delivered to parts of an area, rather than across the whole authority, and which are not covered by parish councils.
Further spending by the Council includes £7,200 for the installation of the town’s annual Christmas light display, and £19,375 for tree felling, maintenance, planting and biodiversity projects, the maintenance and running of two allotment sites, Spilsbury Wood, tending of the Garden of Rest and the funding for Nailsea in Bloom’s floral enhancement of the town.
Running of Nailsea Town Council
There are a number of regulatory and legal fees associated with running the Council and these include audit fees, membership subscriptions and insurance cover at a cost of £13,200.
The Council has also set aside £5,000 in professional fees to aid Nailsea Town Council with complex planning and development issues, should they arise.
There are a number of office overheads, such as IT equipment, telephones, gas + electric, water charges, cleaning of the building and stationery, at a cost of £19,650.
The Council has invested in its staff recently and has a core office team of specialists in Council administration, communication, project management, health and safety, public engagement, community building hire, planning, environmental issues and finance at a charge of £196,184.
The team is available to answer any of your queries at the Tithe Barn which is open to the public from Monday to Thursday, 9:00am until 5:00pm and Friday, 9:00am until 1:00pm. Alternatively, drop into No. 65 for advice or signposting to other organisations or services.
As your local Council, we are here to help.
Engine Lane Land Sale and CIL Payments
Finally, you may be wondering why the Council is not using the monies from the sale of Engine Lane to offset some of the costs outlined here; legally the Council can only use this money for a one off purchase or the refurbishments or existing assets e.g. a new building or facility.
The Council launched the ‘Ask Nailsea’ community consultation during February, asking local residents and businesses for feedback on how they would like to see this money and the payments received from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) spent.
Submitted results are currently being reviewed and all ideas will be shared in the North Somerset Times and on our website; nailseatowncouncil.gov.uk. These will then follow a process of shortlisting before coming back to the community for further selection.