Parishing: Paying Twice for Services

At a February public meeting, Old Town residents discussed the Council’s plans to impose parishes on the unparished areas of Swindon, including Old Town and East Wichel. The new parishes would be made responsible for delivering services such as minor repairs to roads, maintenance of open spaces and play areas, and street cleaning. Responsibility for libraries and street lighting would probably be transferred later.

All these services would be paid for in future through a parish precept (approx. £75) added to your council tax bill, but the Borough Council has confirmed that there would be no rebate compensating for the services it had ceased to provide. The costs of running the parish council (clerk's salary, office and insurance) would also be included in the parish precept.

The overwhelming majority of residents who attended the meeting opposed the imposition of parishes and were in favour of holding a referendum to find out whether or not people want them. Please let us know what you think about this issue.