CHAIRMAN STATEMENT on PROPOSED SAVINGS CONSULTATION

Pangbourne Parish Council is currently considering its response to the West Berkshire Council Consultation on Proposed Savings Cuts, which is due to further Government cuts in local authorities funding. In our view, bearing in mind Pangbourne’s geographical location and our role as a Rural Service Centre for surrounding villages, visitors and workers who also benefit from the village’s services, Pangbourne is being unfairly treated by the proposals.

There are three critical areas of potential impact for us which we need to respond on:

  • Reduction of the library service hours from 27 to 16 per week
  • Withdrawal of funding for public toilets in village hall car park and recreation ground
  • Reduction of WBC subsidy to the 132/133 and 74 bus services.

We appreciate that considerable concern has already been expressed about the proposed cuts to the library service hours about which we have already made representations to Councillor Bale. Meanwhile, the PPC is exploring alternative ways of paying for the cleaning and maintenance of the toilets.

We therefore need residents, businesses and other users of Pangbourne’s services opposed to the cuts to support the Parish Council by letting us and WBC know. We also welcome any constructive and creative ideas about how to address the funding issues raised in all three of these areas. We are also seeking the views of neighbouring parishes. Specifically, we need to have your input on:

  • How we can help keep the library open and maintain its current hours.
  • If the only way of keeping our public toilets open is for us as the Parish Council to pay for their upkeep, would you support an increase in the amount you pay to support the services provided in Pangbourne as part of your annual Council Tax (“the Precept”)?
  • The proposed cut in the bus subsidy will in particular affect older residents who use the buses to get to Reading.

While we will do our best to reverse or mitigate the effect of these proposals, WBC need your direct feedback through their website at www.westberks.gov.uk/savingsproposals; Please use it.

I look forward to hearing from you,

John Higgs, Chairman.

(clerk@pangbourneparish-pc.gov.uk)


One Comment


  1. Eve Neiland
    Dec 13, 2013

    I totally disagree with all three proposals

    We need our library above all for the younger generation. They need to be encouraged to love books and to discover the joy of reading. How many young mums will have the time to traipse over to Theale.

    We need our loos for locals, walkers, people who come off the motorway,etc. I dread to think what we might find on our clearing up days if there are no facilities down at the Rec!

    As regards cutting the bus service , what are people without cars supposed to do? Some older people will be completely cut off.

    We are being encouraged to get more people reading, our standing in the world is falling, we are being encouraged to use public transport there won’t be any, it just doesn’t add up, what are the powers that be thinking ?

    We do pay very high Council Taxes in Pangbourne, where does all the money go? It would appear that all sections in West Berks are not treated evenly, I wonder why.

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