SERVICES WE OFFER
The Parish Council maintains a Sportsfield for use by football, cricket and stoolball clubs as well as the public. The Council also provides a free play area for under 14’s at the back of the Sportsfield. The Council maintains streetlights, benches and noticeboards for the benefit of parishioners. The Council supplies an annual newsletter which is delivered to all households. The Council provides copies of audited accounts upon request for a fee based on the postal-rate and copying charges at the rate of 10 pence per sheet. The Council receives fees from the clubs using the Sportsfield which is applied to the cost of Sportsfield maintenance.
WHAT OUR PRIORITIES ARE
The Parish Council holds the Eastergate parishioners needs as its principle priority. It is the “grass roots” contact point for parishioners to deal with all local matters. It provides a conduit, if necessary, to the other local authorities. The Council considers the environment and the benefit of the community to be one of its priorities and in keeping with that view has over the past few months prepared a questionnaire for all parishioners which, it is hoped, will lead to the preparation of a Parish Action Plan. The Council also maintains assets such as the Sportsfield, Pavilion and the Village Hall.
HOW ARE WE DOING?
The Parish Council has over the last few years, and with the help of other Local Authorities, clubs and local groups and charitable trusts, significantly improved the pavilion at the Sportsfield providing good facilities for local and visiting sports teams, undertaken a programme of improvement and replacement of play equipment in the Play Area and undertaken major maintenance works to the Village Hall including replacement windows, wooden floor and roof repairs. The Council has recently commissioned a survey of trees at the Sportsfield and Open Space areas and is now implementing the recommended work. The Council continues to provide a voice that is respected and listened to at District and County Council level in relation to planning and environmental matters. The Council maintains a good working relationship, and exchange of information, with the police.
The Council also comments on consultation documents, provides grants to appropriate community groups, details below, that provide a service to Eastergate parishioners, organises the annual Remembrance Day ceremony and has orchestrated the provision of a Parish Archive.
HOW WE MAKE DECISIONS
The Council consists of up to 9 members and 3 committees. The Hall Committee itself forms part of a larger Hall Management Committee that undertakes its day to day running. The Sportsfield Committee liaises with the user groups and oversees the use of the Sportsfield. The Planning & Environment Committee considers all planning applications in the parish as well as environmental matters.
In the main, the committees are not empowered to make decisions on behalf of the Council. Rather the committees report their findings to the full Council which then makes the decisions. The Council operates publicly save for when there are matters which are confidential such as the financial details of an individual. The Planning Committee is authorised to make decisions on urgent planning business by way of delegated powers when there is insufficient time to hold a full public meeting.
The public are entitled to attend the meetings of the Council which are normally held on the first Thursday of every month, except for January and August. The meetings are held in the small committee room at the rear of the village hall, and normally start at 7.30 pm. There is a limited time for public questions at the start of the meeting. Agendas for the meeting are to be found at the Parish Office in Barnham Road and the Co-operative Store, in the week prior to the meeting. A copy of the agenda may be obtained from the Clerk of the Council upon payment of a reasonable fee.
WHAT WE SPEND & HOW WE SPEND IT
The Parish Council raises money through an annual request to the District Council and through provision of some facilities, such as use of the Parish Sportsfield. The request for monies from the District Council is known as the precept. For the year 2010/2011 the precept has been fixed at £45,345 (forty five thousand, three hundred and forty five). This figure is net of monies received by the Parish Council from other sources. The sum is made up as follows:
Sportsfield & Open Space 18,430
Planning & Environment 6,550
Parish Hall 4,930
The Parish Council spends the money it receives on, amongst other things, maintaining the parish Sportsfield and Play Area, the Pavilion and car parking area. This includes trees, boundaries and footpaths. It maintains the structure of the Parish Hall and provides financial help when needed for the running costs of the hall. The Council provides, maintains (through West Sussex County Council) and supplies power to 37 streetlights. It also provides and maintains 12 benches and 1 Millennium bench in the parish. In addition, the Council employs a litter collector to enhance the street scene along Barnham Road and maintains the Lion War Memorial in Eastergate.
The Council holds the following assets on trust for the parish:
Asset Insurance Value
Play Area None
Open Space areas None
Millennium bench £914
Office equipment £2,490
Presentation cups £245
Sports Pavilion £150,170