Save Our Parishes - Open Letter
For the urgent attention of Cllr. James Dawson - Labour Leader of Erewash Borough Council
Dear Cllr Dawson,
We the undersigned, call upon your Labour administration at Erewash Borough Council to immediately reverse its decision to defund our Parish Councils by withdrawing the Concurrent Grant by 2025/26.
Parish Councils in Breaston, Draycott, Risley, Sandiacre, Sawley and Stanton-by Dale provide immense value for money to the Council Taxpayer, delivering and maintaining vital local services such as litter picking, grass cutting, public toilets, green spaces, flower beds, war memorials and community centres.
They are also responsible for organising many of our most treasured community events each year, including Christmas lights displays, summer galas and Remembrance commemorations.
Their work is largely funded by the Concurrent Grant, which is designed to give parity between the parishes and larger towns that make up our Borough, preventing a situation whereby residents living in the parishes are charged twice for the same public services when compared to those living in Ilkeston and Long Eaton.
However, in a bombshell email recently sent to all Parish Councils across Erewash, Labour’s Lead Member for Resourcing, Cllr Gordon Thomas, detailed how your Party will be cutting the crucial Concurrent Grant to just £2,000.00 in 2024/25 and will then withdraw the Grant completely in 2025/26.
With the Concurrent Grant scrapped, and at a time when household budgets are coming under pressure in the aftermath of the global pandemic and the war in Ukraine, inevitably many of our Parish Councils will find themselves having to plug a black hole in their finances.
This will leave Parish Councils with no other option but to charge residents significantly more through their Council Tax Precept and, at the same time, having to reduce many of the services they provide.
Thanks to the Conservatives, Erewash Borough Council was left in an eminently stronger financial position than when they inherited the Authority from the previous Labour administration 20 years ago. Yet in the space of just a few short months since Labour returned to office, you are proposing to push our Parish Councils to the brink of financial ruin.
We therefore call on Erewash Labour Party to immediately reinstate the Concurrent Grant and to cease its political attack on our Parish Councils and the residents they so dutifully serve.