Give us shelter

OVER a year has gone by and there is still no bus shelter on Brampton village green. The parish council says it has pots of money to spend but has done nothing here. They could erect a bus shelter for the sake of all village people who have to stand in al

OVER a year has gone by and there is still no bus shelter on Brampton village green. The parish council says it has pots of money to spend but has done nothing here. They could erect a bus shelter for the sake of all village people who have to stand in all weathers without one. A bus shelter to stand under should be a priority and shame on those who stand by and do nothing. I urge the people who use this to complain to the parish council and also to the two councillors elected by the people of Brampton and ask them what they are doing here.

D J MEAD, Olivia Road, Brampton

* I READ Jane King's letter about Brampton Parish Council (April 4) with astonishment and sadness.

Her letter contains a number of inaccuracies and suggestions that might confuse or mislead residents.


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"Brampton collects one of the very highest village precepts". Whereas Brampton is the seventh largest settlement in Cambridgeshire below, among others, Huntingdon, St Ives, St Neots and Sawtry, our precept, (or parish Council Tax) is only the ninth highest in the county.

If you look at the relationship between parish size and spend, you see that they demonstrate that bigger settlements tend to spend more, because they tend to do more. One of the major factors is village buildings. Brampton has not one, but two of these buildings, providing services to a wide range of village groups.

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Although the reserve figure quoted is misleading, as it contains money already earmarked, nobody questions that Brampton has significant reserves.

Mrs King floats the seductive idea that we should use reserves to reduce the parish Council Tax. Unfortunately, when the reserves run out you are then faced with unacceptable increases, part of the problem now being faced by the district council.

The parish council has consulted the whole community, asking all villagers for their ideas on how best to use the money. As far as I am aware, no one until today has seriously suggested frittering away the savings of previous generations on a short-term parish precept holiday. This would, at best, reduce total Council Tax bills by less than six per cent for just a single year, after which the available reserves would be gone.

Mrs King claims that a "small group of parish councillors" is to decide ways of spending the reserves. The truth is that her "small group" is only to come up with suggestions (which include not spending the reserves). These will then be considered by the whole council.

Her letter refers to a proposal to protect the parish council from association with ill-considered statements by councillors that might damage the reputation of the council. When an early draft was considered by council, there was unease. I therefore requested all members, including Mrs King, to come up with some suitable wording. When none was forthcoming at the last meeting, I deferred the item to avoid any impediment to Mrs King in her election campaign.

Mrs King and I do agree on one thing at least - we are writing as individuals.

MIKE SHELLENS, High Street, Brampton

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