Wilmslow Town Council to double expenditure on 'special projects'

c5078a0eea6e6adf3ad21c31d0cefb21

As reported last week, Wilmslow Town Council agreed their budget for 2024.25 which includes a 36.6% increase in the precept (the part of your council tax which is charged by the Town Council). This equates to a band 'D' property charge of £37.31, an increase of £10 per year.

The 2024-25 budget includes smaller increases in various areas such as administration costs, managing events, public toilets and CCTV, with the largest increase is in special projects. A total Special Projects budget of £221,500 was approved, compared to a budget of £110,000 for 2023-2024.

Having requested clarification clarification from Wilmslow Town Council regarding the increased level of spending on special projects, I was informed "In calculating the budget and precept request for 2024.25 the Town Council considered both its predicted reserves coming into the year and, it's spending priorities for the year.

"The following new initiatives were felt to be required within the expenditure budget for the year and have been included within the special projects budget for 2024.25. Each project will be considered on merit when proposals are formulated."

  • Employment of a full time Volunteer coordinator (c£30k)
  • Development of Communications (c£20k)
  • Town Signage (c£10k)
  • Traffic Regulation Enforcement (c£5k)
  • Community Recognition (c£5k)
  • Tourist Information (c£20K)
  • Toilet Refurbishment (South Drive) (c£50k)
  • Playground Enhancement (The Pleasure, West Ward) (c£15k)
  • Playground replacement (The Villas, Dean Row Ward) (c£31k)
  • Romany Commemoration (c£5k)

In addition, the following project priories were highlighted without a specific budget allocation.

  • Refurbishment / Enhancement of Fulshaw Cross
  • Refurbishment / Enhancement of the Boddington Gate
  • Enhancements at Lindow Common / Lindow Moss.
  • Developing the library building into a community hub.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Pete Wright
Wednesday 20th March 2024 at 8:52 am
Got to love that, a "volunteer" coordinator gets £30K ... irony not the strong suit of Wilmslow Council obviously.
They appear to be trying to justify recent increases in the "precept" (part of Council tax) rather than anything else, 50K to refurbish a small toilet block is far too much and what on earth does "Community Recognition" or "Development of Communications" actually mean?
Granville Sellars
Wednesday 20th March 2024 at 12:04 pm
I think they've all been talking.
Macclesfield Town Council is poised to spend nearly £2 million on new pavilion for Macclesfield's South Park.
Courtesy of Macclesfield council tax payers with the help of a 40 year mortgage.
Give them power and they're sure to abuse it.
Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 21st March 2024 at 8:37 am
Hi Pete

These figures are just budgets, not actual spending. We are just ringfencing funds until a formal proposal is developed, proposed and approved. It is therefore purely an accountancy device.

We envisage the Volunteer Co-ordinator will advise our local charities and community groups on how to improve their communications, apply for national grants and to get more local people to volunteer for them. Many of these groups are run on a shoestring by one or two people and we want to ensure they can continue their great work for the town.

The cost for the toilet blocks is purely indicative. We first have to get ownership of the toilets transferred to the town council from Cheshire East and decide what is best for the site. This may involve a refit or a complete rebuild with toilets forming part of a new building. Therefore, this budget allows us to explore all opportunities.

Community recognition is for the Community Awards scheme that is featured elsewhere on this site, while Development of Communications covers how we can best inform residents about our events, activities and volunteer opportunities. We will have to pay to get professional advice on among other things, what blend of media to use eg leaflets, boards around the town, X (formally Twitter), Facebook, TikTok, Instagram or via a dedicated app.

Fulshaw Cross has already been cleaned and the railings repainted. So pop along and see how this monument is now looking.

Finally, we are now working on how best to refurbish the Boddington Gate at The Carrs. A full proposal will be brought to council in the coming months.

Best regards

Mark


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow Town Council
Peter Croome
Thursday 21st March 2024 at 11:53 am
50K. for toilet block!!! The world has gone raving mad.

No idea what the "woke" phrases mean.
Richard Mason
Thursday 21st March 2024 at 2:57 pm
I've got no experience of the rennovation of a public toilet and haven't seen any plans - others may have the experience and the proposals. But £50k does sound a lot to spend a penny! Although - there isn't a public toilet in the town centre which is a big issue, what do people with special needs do? or do they just limit their time in town or avoid it altogether. If we can have a refurbished, cleaned and accessible toilet, then that would be fantastic.
Nick Jones
Friday 22nd March 2024 at 3:04 pm
This is a small increase and in its current independent format WTC is investing in our community ,not holding huge reserves for 'folly' projects . If I recall correctly in 2019 building up to the WTC election, the old regime were at their maximum permitted fund holding limit with a Baldrick like cunning plan to buy a CEC public building that wasn't even for sale... There was little or no transparency with grants and they wanted to waste £12k on a mayoral chain..among other things... Thank goodness for the election clear out... From personal dealings the current WTC cllrs are community focused, accountable and transparent in how they represent their electorate. There is much improved communication/ website/ availability and above all the current WTC regime have the interest of our community at heart.. They might not always get it right, and you may disagree but they are certainly more accommodating to discuss. IMHO This is now a small price to pay for the improved operating model, to benefit WIlmslow ... As for the Toilet block.... It needs a change of use , its not been used for years... maybe a similar arrangement to the Carrs, or make it a usable space in another financially viable format.
Pete Wright
Saturday 23rd March 2024 at 8:42 am
That's a great idea Nick, to repurpose the toilet block into something along the lines of the one in the Carrs. I worry if they're simply toilets as they used to be they'll soon become a magnet for, let's say, "other activities", as happened to the toilet block at the other end of the Carrs off Styal Road. There was a reason they were closed in the first place I guess
Jon Williams
Sunday 24th March 2024 at 8:44 am
Pete:
So Wilmslow does not need Public Toilets then !
Pete Wright
Sunday 24th March 2024 at 2:54 pm
Jon, I meant something like a coffee stand with toilets in the same small building, so someone is on site and able to keep an eye on the facilities, therefore stopping "undesirable" (!) activities. Perhaps locking them at closing time for the same reason. Not many people need public toilets out of shop opening times anyway (and there are also some in Sainsburys)
Roger Bagguley
Monday 25th March 2024 at 7:58 am
It is good to see residents engaging in debate on the wealth of ideas being pursued by very busy town councillors. It is all about finding out what people want Wilmslow to be and getting things done.

Keep your thoughts and ideas coming in.

Roger Bagguley

Residents of Wilmslow (RoW)

Add Your Comment

Share what you think of this story. In order to post a comment click here to sign in or register to become a member (it's free and will only take one minute).