The County Council Elections in May are introducing some changes.
At the 2013 election Arkholme, Gressingham and Whittington were all in the Lancaster Rural East Division. We elected Susie Charles. Our neighbouring Division was Lancaster Rural North, who elected Alyicia James, both representing the Conservative Party. Alycia James ceased to be a County Councillor in September 2016, the seat is currently vacant.
For the 2017 election there have been boundary changes and Arkholme has been moved to the Rural North Division. There are other realignments, which I understand have been introduced in order to better balance the electorates.
The Parishes which now make up Lancaster Rural East are as follows: Burrow-with-Burrow; Cantsfield; Caton-with-Littledale; Claughton; Ellel; Halton-with-Aughton; Hornby-with-Farelton; Ireby; Leck; Melling-with–Wrayton; Over-Wyersdale; Quernmore; Roeburndale; Scotforth; Tatham; Tunstall; Wennington; Whittington; Wray-with-Bolton.
And Lancaster Rural North is: Arkholme-with-Cawood; Carnforth; Nether Kellet; Over Kellet; Priest Hutton; Borwick; Silverdale; Warton; Yealand; Conyers; Yealand Redmayne.
Simon Raistrick has advised me that we now have High Speed Broadband available via Wi-Fi in the Village Hall.
This is the most excellent News and is something really positive to report in connection with village activities.
Now, on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 onwards , you will be able to have a most excellent glass of Châteauneuf-du-Pape play a game of chess on-line with the son of Mikhail Botvinnik (known to his friends as Михаи́л Моисе́евич Ботви́нник) and listen to the romantic yarns of the well practised Whittington Bell Ringers.
Simon tells me that the reach of the Wi-Fi is to the edge of the car park. The Router Identity is: DRG-0EE6 and the Password: 4GYT97X6P1.
I have received my Council tax bill today. Although the increase in the precept that our Parish Council announced they had asked for represented an increase of 10% over last year, in fact the element of Council Tax that we have to pay to the Parish has actually increased by 11.8%.
The reason for the substantial difference is because although the Parish will only receive 10% more it is the number of tax payers in the Parish, the number entitled to a single occupancy discount and the number of people in receipt of Council tax benefit, that determines the increase that we actually have to pay.
By comparison Lancashire County Council, Adult Social Care, Police & Crime Commission have all increased by 2.0%. Lancashire Fire Authority has required no increase at all and Lancaster City Council has increased by 2.4%.
When considering these increases however you must also remember that the County stopped our buses over a year ago, we no longer welcome The Police & Citizens Together into the Village every week, or at our Parish Council Meetings. The City Council are no longer collecting Green Waste free of charge and are indeed making us pay if we want the service.
In fact you may consider that as a Band F (that’s me) tax payer is paying the same amount to have their green waste removed every year as I pay to the Parish Council for all the wonderful services they provide, that we are blessed.