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Prudent planning praised as village avoids big cuts
PARISH councillors say “prudent financial planning” has helped protect their village against local authority cuts.
Hurworth Parish Council has published an update on its parish plan, which was produced in 2010 following consultation with village residents.
A report states: “In the past, as a parish we have depended upon support from Darlington Borough Council (DBC).
“However, the country wide budget cuts have impacted upon DBC and we find that they are having to reduce services to our parish and have already withdrawn grant funding.
“With prudent financial planning we have mitigated against these cuts and our aim is continue operating in a pro-active manner on behalf of the community.”
The parish council has released an update on the plan ahead of potentially having to increase its precept – the amount of council tax it asks for from local authorities for the services it provides – for the coming financial year.
Also included in the update are status reports on a number of issues identified in the original plan, which the parish council says has produced “very significant benefits” to the local community. They include:
• Parking and Congestion – Daytime parking issues have been discussed and part resolved. Additional Parking restrictions have been implemented on the road at Hurworth School, with improved signage at the primary school. Further discussions are ongoing in other areas;
• Highways - Three speed monitoring units are to be installed in 2013. A nominated parish councillor is monitoring highway issues and liaising with DBC for repairs;
• Police – Monthly Partners and Communities together (Pact) meetings in Hurworth have helped establish closer relationships with senior police officers. Neighbourhood Watch has agreed to integrate with Hurworth Pact;
• Flooding – A parish council flood warden has been appointed. Parish Councillors now working with Northumbrian Water and other appropriate authorities on solutions to local flood issues to produce a long-term resolution to the problems;
• Services/Grants – Village clean-up days in hand. Grants secured for funds for council and community to the value of £53,000 benefiting a range of amenities including allotments, Hurworth Grange Community Centre and the Village Hall.
• Leisure – A public meeting regarding a publich right of way issue at Croft Club will be held at the Grange in February. Hurworth Country Fair has been held for the past two years, with a high level of community involvement.