Great Shelford Parish Council has met on a number of occasions, both as committees and as full council, to consider the requests from all committees for the items to be included in 2023/24 budget.  It is safe to say with the current cost of living crisis, discussions about the budget and precept have been much more difficult this year and it has taken some real soul searching to look at what should continue to be provided going forward and what projects should be started, continued or perhaps even discontinued.

Councillors considered very carefully if there were any services that they could cut from the budget, for example Christmas lights, hanging baskets and the maintenance of green areas in the village.  After some discussion, it was felt that whilst these areas of activity are not essential, they do add to the village’s appearance and do bring some pleasure to residents.  In order for us to be able to continue to provide them, £47,000 of current Earmarked Reserves[1] has been released to support the budget for 2023/24.

At an extra full council meeting held in January, Great Shelford Parish Council agreed to a precept request of £314,500.  Following the meeting of the parish council on 15th February 2023, a full, signed copy of the budget will be available on the website: www.greatshelfordparishcouncil.gov.uk/finance-audit but for ease of reference, it has been broken down for you as follows:

Cost Centre  Income  Expenditure  Cost to Precept
Recreation Ground  £ 10,485.00  £ 24,720.00 £ 14,235.00
River Bank  £     –  £ 1,000.00 £ 1,000.00
Playscape/Wheelscape  £     –  £ 20,200.00 £ 20,200.00
Memorial Hall/Scout Hut  £ 23,164.00  £ 22,462.00  -£ 702.00
Memorial Hall Car Park  £     –  £ 3,450.00 £ 3,450.00
Grass Cutting  £     –  £ 4,600.00 £ 4,600.00
Pavilion Services  £ 2,500.00  £ 30,415.00 £ 27,915.00
Cemetery  £ 4,325.00  £ 7,385.00 £ 3,060.00
Allotments  £ 2,300.00  £ 4,450.00 £ 2,150.00
Highways  £ 5,100.00  £ 68,145.00 £ 63,045.00
Plants & Tools  £      –  £ 500.00 £ 500.00
Planning  £      –  £ 3,000.00 £ 3,000.00
Grants  £      –  £ 33,290.00 £ 33,290.00
Administration  £ 2,500.00  £ 132,257.00 £ 132,257.00
Highways Projects  £      –  £ 9,000.00 £ 9,000.00
 £ 50,374.00  £ 364,874.00 £ 314,500.00

In addition to the above, it was agreed to carry over a total of £23,600 from this financial year into our Earmarked Reserves, money which was budgeted but has not yet been spent yet on projects such as Clay Pit improvements, sports equipment replacement (e.g. goals), Heritage (maintenance of War Memorial, Freestones Corner, etc).  The money will sit in their own Earmarked Reserve until we are able to deliver the project in the next year or so.

As stated, the parish council have committed £47,000 to be released from current Earmarked Reserves meaning that the budget for next year’s expenditure is actually in excess of £411,000.  In addition to the usual services and amenities the parish council provides, other projects to be delivered in 2023/24 include:

  • consulting with the community on what they want from their Memorial Hall, allowing for a Feasibility Report to be created to guide designs for refurbishment or potential rebuilding of the hall;
  • installation of the Wheelscape (as part of the overall Recreation Ground Masterplan);
  • increasing provision of events for residents;
  • trialling some highway initiatives to understand the implications before putting forward any proposals for major highway changes in the village;
  • investigations into a cemetery extension as our current site is becoming more limited for space;
  • rolling programme of replacement for our bus shelters as our shelters become less structurally sound; and
  • … much more.

Following submission of our request to South Cambridgeshire District Council, they have confirmed our workings for the number of dwellings contributing to the precept.  We can confirm that the increase as a whole is 12.10% or £16.55 to a Band D property equivalent charge in 2022/23 (for the year).  To understand this a little better, this is the equivalent of £1.38 per month on a Band D property[2].

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Libby by the usual methods.


[1] Earmarked Reserves are pockets of money which have been collected through the precept, but not yet spent, for the purpose they were collected.  One example would be collection of £2,000 for Elections, but due to no polling in 2022, £1,500 has been Earmarked for future elections meaning money does not need to be collected this year.

[2]  Band A = £0.92p per month, Band B £1.07, Band C £1.23, Band E £1.69, Band F £1.99, Band G £2.30 and Band H £2.76 – all per month