Welcome to edition 103of our Clerk’s Column circulated as usual to the 490 residents on our Residents’ Forum email list and through the Chronicle’s page 4.
ANNUAL ACCOUNTS 2021/22
Our initial Annual Accounts are on a Receipts & Payments basis from our Cash Book. During 2021/22 we received a total of £709,539 of which 50.1%
(£355,889) came from the Precept with another 21.4% (£149,948) being the loan from the Public Works Loan Board for the building of the new toilet.
Payments during the year totalled £642,505. All Town & Parish Councils with receipts or payments over £200,000 in the year are required to produce their final Annual Accounts on an Income and Expenditure basis as that shows the actual expenditure incurred during the year irrespective of when it was actually made and the income due to be received in the period regardless of when it actually arrived in our account. The necessary adjustments can’t be made until all the relevant transactions have taken place.
SOUTHWEST PARISHES FORUM
This Health & Wellbeing Forum that we organise for the 13 South Wight Town & Parish Councils to meet with senior health services staff was held at Haseley
Manor, Heasley Lane, Arreton on Wednesday. The guest speaker this time was planned to be the Isle of Wight Council’s Director of Adult Social Care Laura
Gaudion but as she was unable to attend on the day the Isle of Wight Council’s Ian Lloyd attended instead and spoke about Ukrainian refugees coming to the Island, Living Well and the Resilience Project. County Councillor Karl Love also came and contributed.
Our Business Development Officer Nigel Slater-Bishop and I met with the Isle of Wight Council’s Director of Regeneration Chris Ashman on Thursday. In an informative and constructive discussion we were updated on the projects he is leading and anticipating and we were able to discuss the Town Council’s proposals for the local management of car parks and the development of the Upper Ventnor site behind the Island Free School to include small (750sq.ft) light industrial units to increase local employment and enterprise developments.
APRIL TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
Tonight’s Town Council meeting starts as usual with the Finance Report before moving to the Annual Accounts. Island Poverty is the subject for the next Agenda item followed by consideration of the new Heads of Terms from the Isle of Wight Council for our management of the old Youth Centre. Next a proposal from the Town Council’s Sustainability and Biodiversity Group for a Wild Gardens competition and then a proposal to plant a tree in the Park for the Platinum Jubilee. The possible addition of children’s playground games to the Paddling Pool area and the use of Glyphosate in the town conclude the business.
Poverty on the Island is set to become even more serious for even more residents: a 54%increase in energy costs, the anticipated 8% inflation rate (over 10% for the poorest) and increased food, housing and transport costs with only a 3.1 % increase in Benefits. and downward pressure on wages. And the impacts will be greatest in the Island areas where poverty is already at its highest. The government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation divides England into 32,844 small areas (Lower Super Output Areas – LSOAs) collects detailed information on each and ranks them from 1 (the most deprived) to 32,844 (the least deprived). On the latest listing, 12 areas of the Island are in the 20% most deprived nationally as shown is this table.
The Town Council has already done much work in responding to its two areas with support for our Food Bank, Baby Box and the Wellbeing Café. But Island-wider action is now required.
VIA MY TWITTER FEED LAST WEEK
A Child Poverty Action Group study of the effects of restricting benefits to only 2 children concludes ‘An
estimated 1.4 million children are now affected by the limit and, unless it is abolished, that number will reach 3
million as more children are born under the policy.’
Debt Advice Charity Stepchange has published its Statistics Yearbook for 2021 with an analysis of their clients
eg ‘The mean average unsecured debt level per client was £11,176.’