Members of Cotswold District Council have today agreed a freeze on the authority’s share of local residents’ council tax payments for 2018/19, following a freeze for 2017/18 and 2016/17, a 5% cut in 2015/16, a 3% cut in 2014/15 and a 5% reduction in 2013/14. This means that the average band D charge for District services will remain at £126.40.
Taking into account the freeze for 2018/19, the actual amount being charged for a Band D council tax payer – without cutting frontline services – has been reduced by £17.98 per year (12%) over a period stretching back to 2010/11. Even more significantly, the £126.40 charge is on a par with what residents were paying back in 2005 and, taking the average annual inflation rate into account, represents a real terms reduction of about 45%, saving tax payers about £50 per year.
This is the 21st lowest district council charge in the country and represents a rise from 63rd in the ratings just a few years ago.
The Council also agreed the following:
Continuation of the freeze on parking charges at all CDC-owned car parks.
Continuation of the freeze on the cost of garden waste licences.
Extension of the ‘free after 3 pm’ parking scheme until the end of March 2019 at selected car parks across the district, including in Bourton-on-the-Water, Cirencester, Moreton-in-Marsh, Stow-on-the-Wold, and Tetbury.
An initial allocation of up to £300,000 to extend the network of Electronic Vehicle Charging Points in the Cotswolds.
Each Ward Member will receive an allocation of £1,000 to help fund local youth activities.
No cuts to frontline services.
CDC Deputy Leader Cllr Nick Parsons commented: “Nearly all the local authorities in the UK are increasing their share of the council tax bill, but I am delighted to say that we can maintain our price freeze in the Cotswolds. I am sure that residents will be very pleased to hear this news.
“Those working on behalf of the Council are always mindful of the need to keep our costs down, and I am extremely grateful for the efforts of the CDC staff as they continue to innovate and find savings without any detriment to our services. Working with partner councils, we are on target to share in collective savings of £5.6 million per year by 2020 –these savings are vital to ensure that we can continue to provide excellent value for money.”
Via press release from Cotswold District Council on 20 February.
RAF Brize Norton and London Oxford Airport (LOA) at Kiddlington have both launched airspace change proposals (ACP) to establish more controlled airspace. There are two separate consultations running in parallel and two sets of documents.
The proposal for RAF Brize Norton would see the northern boundary of the controlled airspace extended close to Upper Rissington, which could therefore impact local residents and those using the neighbouring airfield for recreational flying.
Within the village we have many residents who are involved in the flying arena – military, civil and general aviation (GA) – who are far better placed to provide informed comment on the proposals and their impact on the village. The Parish Council would be very interested to hear from residents who have flying knowledge who could attend the consultation drop-in sessions and then brief the Parish Council at our next meeting on 14 March 2018.
The drop-in sessions at RAF Brize Norton will be held on Tuesday 20th February, and Wednesday 28th February, where project members will be on hand to answer questions. Full details including timings, car parking and security arrangements can be found on the RAF Brize Norton consultation website: https://www.raf.mod.uk/rafbrizenorton/flyinginfo/bznacp.cfm. Please note that visitors are asked to register in advance for security reasons and to ensure there is capacity to host everyone who wishes to attend.
Cotswold District Council has received several calls from residents in the Cotswolds who have received an unsolicited letter from Manchester-based company Energy Saving Grants Ltd.
The letter is headed ‘Important: we need a response from you’ and informs the recipient that they have not registered their property for Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding to improve its energy efficiency. The letter states ‘please respond by 28 February’. In the small print it acknowledges that the company is not a Local or National Authority.
The style of the letter implies to the casual reader that Cotswold District Council may have been involved in this mail out. This is not the case. We have had NO dealings with this company and have NOT been asked to endorse this scheme.
Now in its third year, Cotswold District Council’s ‘Great Cotswolds Clean up’ prize competition will get underway on Friday 2 March. The Council is inviting community groups to clean up their neighbourhoods and possibly share in a £1,000 prize fund. There will be three prizes on offer in the CDC competition (£500 for first, £300 for second and £200 for third).
From Friday 2 March until Sunday 29 April, schools and community groups are being encouraged to carry out a litter pick in their communities. Applying to enter is very simple – just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01285 623123 and provide the location of your litter pick, together with the name of a community representative who is willing to liaise with the Council. CDC will expect that person to take the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs of the area being tidied, and provide details of the size of the work party. When the competition concludes, a panel of CDC judges will draw up a short-list and visit the finalists to assess the work done.
Cllr Sue Coakley, CDC Cabinet Member for Environment, looks forward to the event: “There are so many residents who are enthusiastic about keeping the Cotswolds clean and tidy, and last year’s competition entrants clearly had a lot of fun in the process. Running this prize competition is a small gesture to thank everyone for their efforts. We can supply bags, pickers, gloves and high visibility jackets for clean-up work, and it will help our environmental team if volunteers could stagger the take-up over the duration of the competition so that we can use our resources to best effect. We can also arrange for Ubico Ltd to make special collections of filled bags after litter picks. Please call 01285 623123 if you require assistance with equipment or collection of filled bags.”
The launch of the competition coincides with Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean weekend which has done so much to raise awareness of this issue nationally.
Via press release from CDC, 5 February 2018
The Official Parish Council website for the People of Upper Rissington