Council tax and how we spend your money

The next financial year is coming up and that means new Council tax bills are here.

A small portion (approximately 5%) of the Council tax paid by Cholsey residents goes to the Parish Council. For 2023/2024, that portion is £106.03 for a ‘Band D’ property – so around £2 per week. The equivalent figure for 2022/2023 was £96.39.

We want to give you some background on why this increase was needed and how the Parish Council spends your money.

Why is an increase needed?

Many of the Council’s costs are rising because of inflation.  Also, when we were setting budgets in November 2022 it was predicted that the Council would spend more than it had budgeted for 2022/2023. We have spent more on tree surgery due to considerable storm damage. There were also unexpected costs involved in defending the Cholsey Neighbourhood Plan against the Leavesley planning appeal.

What does the Parish Council spend money on?

Most costs incurred by the Parish Council are covered via the Council tax as we do not have other significant sources of income (with the exception of CIL; more on this below). The total amount of money that a Town or Parish Council receives via the Council tax is called the annual ‘Precept’. Because Cholsey Parish Council requests an annual precept of above £140,000, details of our expenditure are published on the SODC web site here:

As you can see we have a variety of costs associated with the work we do in the village. These include:

  • Employing 11 staff members, who carry out a variety of roles including clerking, estate management and financial management.
  • We employ the Children’s Centre staff who run the Happy Hub, and a Mental Health Support Worker
  • Team members also include the Environmental Coordinator who oversees the Cholsey Environmental Champion (CHEC) groups
  • The Council manages the recreation ground including play areas and skatepark, three allotment sites in the village, and burials in the church burial grounds.
  • We own the Pavilion building, and have provided grants to a variety of community services including the Library, Youth Club and the Day Centre for an Older Person’s Support Worker.
  • The Council usually meets twice a month – you can find agendas and past minutes on the Meetings page of the Council web site. These give a sense of the varied things we are involved in.

Become a Councillor and help make a difference to our wonderful village!

Cholsey Parish Councillors are all volunteers working to benefit the community, for the present and for the future.

It is a time of change for the Council. We’ve had a change of Clerk in the last 6 months, local elections are coming up, and we are busy working on a 5-year strategic plan. We want to be an active part of the community, to listen to resident’s views, and to drive positive changes wherever we can. If you would like to find out more about becoming a Councillor please get in touch!

More on CIL

CIL – the Community Infrastructure Levy – has also been a source of funding for the Council. We receive a proportion of the CIL payment that land-owners or developers are required to pay when new developments are built in Cholsey. CIL money is intended to help local authorities, including Town and Parish Councils, respond to the demands that new developments place on an area.

In recent years, CIL money has been used by Cholsey Parish Council to fund the skatepark in the recreation ground and the Children’s Centre extension to the Pavilion. CIL funds are currently being used to replace the broken footbridge over Cholsey Brook to the Millennium Woods.