UPWELL: Precept set to rise

Upwell Parish Council final preparations to the budget for 2013/14 are being finalised and a special meeting will be held on Monday (January 21) to discuss this and the precept.

At the latest council meeting, the clerk reported that, due to a change in the way in which Council Tax is being collected, the Parish precept was likely to cost residents more proportionally in the coming year as the number of homes across which it is spread was being reduced - even if the Council decided not to increase the precept.

This matter was put forward for full discussion on Monday. Councillors heard the construction of a new public mooring at Three Holes is scheduled for early in the New Year. The Inland Waterways Association is funding the construction and the mooring will then be transferred to the Parish

Council for management, in conjunction with the Middle Level Commissioners.

Three Holes bridge is to be used as a clue in an upcoming edition of BBC Radio Norfolk’s Treasure Quest programme and councillors were asked for history about the area for a background report to accompany the programme.

The criteria for allocating housing to the proposed Rural Exception Site off Birdbeck Drive in Outwell was also discussed, in preparation for submitting a joint criteria document to the Borough with Outwell Parish Council. Councillors were keen to ensure that priority was give to local residents or those working in the immediate area.

The Clerk introduced councillors to the idea of developing a Neighbourhood Plan. This is a document setting out how the Parish Council would like to see development affect the village in the future. It deals with all aspects of development, from the height and design of any new building, to the location and density of building projects and the Borough Council will, once accepted, use it as a planning tool when considering planning applications.

Members heard that the next stage in the LDF (Local Development Framework) was due out in March

and that this would contain information about the Borough Council’s preferred options for development sites across the Borough. There were a large number of sites proposed around Upwell and the Parish Council had already nominated their preferred options. It was agreed that these two items should be considered side by side once further information had been received from the Borough about its preferred sites.

The next meeting of the Council is February 4 at 7.30pm in Upwell village hall. There will be an Extraordinary meeting of the Council convened at the village hall on Monday, 21st January specifically to set the budget and precept for 2013/14. These are open meetings and the public are welcome. There will be an opportunity for residents to address the council during the meeting and councillors can be contacted, in confidence, at any time. Any queries or concerns should be addressed to the Clerk either at upwellpc@googlemail.com or by telephoning 01945 772260 between noon and 3pm. More information about the village and council activities/councillors can be found at www.upwellpc.co.uk.