Friday, 20 July 2018

Council vows to improve village with tax increase

COUNCIL taxpayers in Peppard are set to pay more for services provided by the parish council.

COUNCIL taxpayers in Peppard are set to pay more for services provided by the parish council.

The council is expected to agree a 20 per cent increase in its precept from April 1 when it meets on Monday.

The rise will mean a typical band D householder will pay an extra £5.93 a year.

It will deliver an extra £4,547 in revenue which will be used to pay for improvements in the parish.

The former telephone box in Church Lane, which the council has adopted, needs refurbishing and Carlings Orchard has been earmarked for improvements. Councillor Clive Mills said the sports pavilion also needed updating, including replacing one of the toilets.

“If a few more lights go we will need candles,” he said.

“If we do just a few things on the list, then we can make it a place suitable for local people to come and enjoy and that is safe.

“I hope that if people see their money being put into this building then they might think to use it for their kids’ party.” Cllr Mills said the increase in the precept per household was a “minor amount”.

Council chairman David Hammond said it was important to fund projects that improved the parish.

He said: “As I look back over the past year, I had three priorities — firstly, to support the parish and preserve everything that local people find so attractive about living here, secondly, to fill our council vacancies and thirdly, to work with our partners in the parish and build on the work of the community plan.

“We have achieved an awful lot but clearly there is an awful lot more to do.”

He said the village notice boards had been replaced and the pavilion and sports field had new users with Rotherfield United Football Club about to join them.

Peppard had also celebrated the Queen’s diamond jubilee in traditional style.

“We have actively engaged with Oxfordshire County Council and have had meetings with [Henley MP] John Howell,” said Cllr Hammond.

“We have had useful contacts with the police and others and we have had increased speed checks along Stoke Row Road. We have new road markings at the Gallowstree Road-Stoke Row Road crossroads.”

He also referred to the council’s bid to stop businesses using unlawful advertising signs on the B481, particularly the Studio Gallery at Manor Farm. Cllr Hammond said: “We have encouraged businesses to comply with the rules. We had an amicable meeting with the proprietor of the Studio Gallery and she was unaware of many of the rules. She now has a better understanding and is keen to co-operate with the council.”

Broadband connection was still an issue, although Peppard’s service was better than some other parts of Oxfordshire, he said.

Cllr Hammond said he wanted to improve the council’s website and to keep plans for a new play area “on the agenda”.

He added: “For 2013, I believe we should be consolidating some of these things.”

Councillors will also discuss a community action plan at Monday’s meeting.

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