Draycott-in-the-Moors may be one of the smallest parish councils in Staffordshire, but it still has to present an annual report and accounts.
The annual report was presented at the Parish Assembly on April 29th; and the accounts were presented at the Parish Council AGM on May 20th. Here we have the highlights.
A year in focus
One of the problems with being such a small council is that most of the council’s money (it gets £6,500 from the public purse) goes on administration and salaries.
So, the main non-admin expense in the last year was the Jubilee Bench (see photo below), sited on the main road outside St Margaret’s Churchyard, which cost nearly £900.
Looking forward, the council says it will exercise pressure in four main areas in particular…:
1/ The stretch of road in Cresswell between The Izaak Walton and the cricket club has no footway, and is clearly dangerous to walk. This has been an active issue since 2004; and at last the council has achieved a promise from the district-council to build two ‘step-ins’, even if the stretch will not have a pavement.
It’s believed that this stretch cannot have a pavement because of the cost of moving the utilities pipes underneath.
2 / Despite the introduction of the X50 bus service, there are still public transport issues, which the council will continue to monitor.
3/ There are still real hopes that the old railway-line between Cheadle and Cresswell will be officially opened for public access. A pathway, from the line to Cresswell Old Lane, is being negotiated too.
4/ Speeding through the village still concerns residents. It is hoped to install SIDs (speed-signs) more frequently.
Accounts for 2012-23
The council’s annual accounts have now been audited, and fill a whole A4 page.
The main expense is salaries – to the parish clerk and to the litter picker Malcolm Price – which make up nearly half of the annual council tax income.
The little that is left has gone mostly on administration and fees and – as we’ve said – the purchase & installation of the Jubilee Bench.
There is a little bit that goes on donations to charities. In the past year, the council gave around £20 apiece to Vitalise (a UK charity for respite care), The Community Council of Staffordshire, The Campaign to Protect Rural England, the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, and the St Margaret’s Church Poppy Wreath.
Inspection of annual return
By law, these accounts now must be available for inspection by local government elector; so you can check them out yourself if you wish between 24 May-21 June at the parish clerk’s house in Draycott Old Road. This is called ‘the exericise of electors’ rights’.
You should make an appointment with her to go over, but you need to pick a time between 10am-7pm. Phone Mary on 01782 394807 for more details.
You have the right to question the auditor about the accounts, and to object to the auditor about the accounts.