Funding of the new Community Hall: the statement made by Peter Sandon to Buckland Brewer Parish Council on 9th January 2013
I wish to speak of Minute 843 of the council meeting on 12 December 2012, in which it is stated that Mr Lloyd asked that the parish council consider making a donation to the new community hall on the Precept and it was agreed that it would be discussed at the next meeting. That followed the suggestion first put forward by Mr Lloyd at the Finance Sub-committee meeting on 5 December.
When I canvassed in 2011 at the parish council election a lady told me that she had been campaigning for a new village hall for 30 years. It would seem that there has been adequate time for grants to be applied for yet now we have the parish council considering filling the shortfall in funding for the project by means of the precept.
I was present at a Hall Management Committee meeting a couple of years ago and heard a committee member, also a Parish Councillor, crow “We are going to get a new village hall for nothing”, and now we are going to be asked to pay for it. If the draft 106 agreement does not provide enough money to build the new hall then perhaps the developers should be told to improve their offer if they want planning permission.
The present draft agreement provides that the developers will give the council £325,000 when they sell the 20th free market house. That will be towards the estimated cost of £750,000 leaving a shortfall of £425,000.
The developers could easily go bankrupt before then especially if the housing market remains in its present depressed state. But by that time the parishioners of Buckland Brewer will have paid increased council tax for two or three years. What will happen to the money then?
I think it is outrageous that the parish council of a small village could even consider raising a Precept to fund a charity. We are not talking about a few hundred pounds but of two to four hundred thousand pounds.
I ask this council to reject the idea of funding the new village hall by means of the precept.