Published: 20 Dec 23
Happy Christmas to all !
The Parish Council will now be making a monthly communications as an additional means of keeping everyone fully informed.
This is partly prompted by the changes that may occur as a result of the financial problems at Somerset Council, but there is always a busy agenda of work at the parish council and we’d like to communicate this clearly to all.
Excellent news to start - the long-awaited car park refurbishment is scheduled to take place in the week beginning February 12th next year. This has been a complicated process but we have used an outstanding surveyor who has advised us at all stages to ensure that we achieve the best possible solution within our budget.
Less positive is the news is that the new Somerset Council is in severe financial difficulty. Significant factors contributing to the problem are the rising cost of social care and high inflation.
The Parish Council have been in constant communication with our county councillors and are involved in county-wide meetings to keep us updated. Mike Hewitson, our county councillor, attended the last parish council meeting and explained that whilst they do not fully understand the scale of the problem, they will be in significant financial difficulty.
As a result, Somerset Council are now involved in what they are calling a ‘devolution’ process in which they are consulting with parish and town councils with regard to them taking responsibility for services that they may be unable to deliver in the future.
Such services could include hedge and visibility-splay cutting, gulley clearance, road gritting, tree services, dog-waste bin clearance, support for public park areas such as Ham Hill and so-on.
This is going to become a very important area of work for Odcombe Parish Council as we discuss and negotiate the services that we are prepared to take over from the unitary council. There will clearly be difficult decisions to be made about Odcombe Parish Council’s ability to provide particular services and whether it is cost-effective to do so.
We will keep residents updated at every stage of the process.