Parish Council Precept Statement

Dear Residents

You will probably be aware that Cassington Parish Council is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of many of the village’s amenities, such as the village greens, its burial grounds, along with associated stone walls, trees, ditches, and drainage channels. It is also responsible for traffic calming, recreational facilities and buildings owned by the village.

For some of these facilities, the Parish Council is grateful to the team of volunteers from Cassington Sports and Social, the Village Hall Committee and the Allotment Association who maintain the playing fields, sports pavilion, allotments, and the village hall on behalf of the village at little or no cost to the Parish Council.

Each year the Parish Council must set a budget for the services it provides to the village. The source of this funding is via the precept, which is raised through the local council tax.

In 2022/2023 the cost of running the PC was £19,000. For 2023/2024 this has risen to £27,000, and for 2024/2025 the cost is projected to rise to £30,000.

The main increases in the budget are due to:

  • Clerk’s salary, £4,000 – due to annual pay rises and increased hours worked.
  • Tree maintenance, £2,000 – due to increased maintenance requirements
  • Waste bin collections, £800 – due to increase in WODC charges.
  • Audit cost, £600 – a statutory requirement.
  • Grass cutting, £400 – due to increase in charges.

In addition to the above, the Parish Council has made provision in 2024/2025 budget for the following costs:

  • Reserve fund, £3,500 – the Parish Council is required to have sufficient reserves, these have been depleted by numerous ‘one-off’ payments over the last year.
  • Vehicle activated speed indicator sign, £2,500 – a mobile device to aid reduction in vehicle speeds.
  • Traffic calming measures, £6,700 – survey, admin, and fees.
  • Playground equipment, £20,000 – a contribution towards the projected £85,000 replacement cost.

The impact of these increases has resulted in a total precept of £62,900 for the village in 2024/2025. This represents a total annual cost for a band ‘D’ property of £187.77, or £15.65 a month over 12 months, compared to the previous cost for a Band ‘D’ property of £80.45.

The Parish Council has always tried to keep any increases in the precept to a minimum. However, we find ourselves in a position where our costs are increasing significantly, along with an ever-increasing list of ‘one-off’ issues we are required to deal with. Some of this is a result of increasing devolvement of responsibilities and costs from County / District Council level or the Highways Agency to Parish Council level because of the state of public finances, a national issue. In other cases, costs arise from maintenance of our environment in an ancient village with ageing infrastructure.

Historically, apart from Botley West Solar Farm and Blenheim’s proposed housing development, the speed of vehicles through the village has been the major concern of residents who have made their feelings known to the Parish Council. Therefore, we are determined to do what we can to make the road through the village as safe as possible for all of the residents of Cassington. You may be aware that despite the reduction in the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph, the volunteers from Cassington Speedwatch are still recording vehicles at speeds of over 40mph. Unfortunately, any measures needed for traffic calming / speed reduction is the responsibility of the Parish Council and not the highway authority, OCC, or the local authority, WODC.

Cassington Speedwatch records for 2023:

No. of sessions:                                                           77

Total number of vehicles:                                          11,693

No. of offending vehicles:                                         1,333

Between 25mph & 30mph:                                       746

Between 31mph & 40 mph:                                      538

Between 41mph & 50mph                                        44

Over 50 mph:                                                              5

Highest offender:                                                        58 mph

In addition to road safety, we have also tried to make the residents aware of our concerns regarding the poor state of the stone walls in the village, many of which are the responsibility of the Parish Council to maintain. The Parish Council recently commissioned a survey of the village walls, which was kindly undertaken by volunteers from the village. We need to be clear that the cost of repairing and / or replacing these walls will be significant in future years, so an imminent reduction in the current level of the precept is unlikely.

Residents are of course welcome to express their views on these, or any other matters that effect the village, either in writing to, by contacting one of your Parish Councillors – contact details in CAWN, or by attending a Parish Council meeting.

The PC meets 10 times a year. These meeting are held in public, usually at the village hall. Residents are encouraged to attend the meetings and are invited to raise questions.

Agendas for the meetings are published in advance on the village website and posted on the village notice boards. Minutes of the meetings are also published on the village website and in CAWN.

Finally, the Parish Council is grateful to the members of the public who attended the March 2024 meeting and raised questions regarding the increase in the precept which had been notified in the February 2024 edition of CAWN, and we welcome the opportunity to explain the rationale behind this increase.

Cassington Parish Council