LUTTON PARISH COUNCIL NEWS: Village precept frozen as costs are controlled

Coun David Wilkinson, Lutton Parish Council chairman.  Photo by Tim Wilson.  SG010316-102TW.
Coun David Wilkinson, Lutton Parish Council chairman. Photo by Tim Wilson. SG010316-102TW.
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Lutton’s share of its households’ council tax bills has been frozen at £19,000 for the third year running.

Despite work to rebuild the wall outside St Nicholas Church, refurbish the war memorial and make improvements to the cemetery, Lutton’s precept is to stay at its current level for 2018-19.

Although we have been very careful, the council has still managed to successfully implement several projects that have been talked about for many years but never actually completed

Coun David Wilkinson, Lutton Parish Council chairman

It means households will pay an average of £49.60 for the year between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, according to Band D property values.

Coun David Wilkinson, parish council chairman, said: “Over the last few years, Lutton Parish Council has worked extremely hard to maximise income from its assets which are mainly land in its ownership, whilst still being conscious that those who rent the land from the council have to make a profit.

“The council has also succeeded in keeping costs down, some of this due to members undertaking small tasks that we would otherwise have to contract out, but being careful with our funds at the same time and not wasting any.

“Our district councillors have been very supportive by providing us with small grants and the Long Sutton Men’s Shed project has also been involved.

“Our thanks go to all of them.”

Since Lutton Parish Council was reorganised after the resignation of five members in March 2014, the precept has come down from £19,505 in 2015-16 to £19,000 a year later.

Coun Wilkinson said: “Although we have been very careful, the council has still managed to successfully implement several projects that have been talked about for many years but never actually completed.

“We have had the church wall rebuilt in several places where it had previously been damaged or just fallen into

disrepair and the War Memorial has been given a facelift for which we have received many positive comments.

“However, the cemetery has been, and still is, one of the most challenging projects for the council.

“Despite this, we have had a new fence fitted along the front and we are in the process of replacing another fence to the right hand side of the cemetery.

“We have also undertaken a lot of work to straighten some of the very old gravestones that are no

longer tended and cleared several headstones of Ivy and overgrown vegetation.

“The Garden of Remembrance Wall has been rebuilt and wild flowers are set annually, a task in which Richard King

has been very helpful by doing a lot of work for us at a very reasonable price which we would like to thank him for.”

Coun Wilkinson reserved special praise for parish clerk Claire Matthews for her tight grip on council cash whilst “allowing the council to move forward”.

He said: “The savings we have made would not have been possible without the co-operation of all members who have worked very hard to keep costs down, but still managing to improve the village.

“One of the other main contributing factors is our clerk who keeps our finances tight but also enables the

council to move forward which is why I believe we are very fortunate to have her on board.

“It’s not difficult to manage a small parish and it’s mainly common sense, as long as everyone pulls in the same direction and has the same goal to make Lutton a nice village.

“Our meetings are mostly short, but very focused, and I would like to think that we are a doing council, not a talking

shop.”

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