How your Precept is Spent and Audits
Capel Parish Council (CPC) owns a considerable amount of land and some buildings in Beare Green, Capel and Coldharbour. Nearly all the verges, green spaces and ditches through the village of Capel are the responsibility of the parish and incur not only anticipated budgeted annual costs but also unforeseen maintenance and repair work which must be dealt with.
CPC has an annual grass cutting contract to maintain Capel Recreation Ground, Bennetts Green and all the surrounding grass verges. CPC is responsible for the grass cutting and ditch clearing on the Beare Green football ground. CPC has also taken on responsibility for the amenity woodland in Markham Park. Misbrooks Green is strimmed along the top of the bridleway, normally twice annually, with the grass on the green being cut bi-annually. The ditches fronting the green along Misbrooks Green Road are also maintained by CPC.
The maintenance of the road/bridleway past Misbrook Cottages is undertaken on a percentage basis with the cottage owners as is the road to the Beare Green Cottages. Footpaths to Capel Recreation ground have to be cut back twice a year and all the wooden foot bridges maintained.
Hedges around the Capel allotments, along Mortimer Road as well as the vegetation around the Beare Green Community Centre and the Beare Green Pavilion car park are all maintained by CPC. The hedges on both sides of Old Horsham Road, Beare Green are the responsibility of CPC as is the pond at the end of Moorhurst Lane.
CPC is responsible for the maintenance of the burial ground extension at the rear of St John the Baptist Church in Capel, a map can be viewed here. This includes all grass cutting, strimming and maintenance of the boundaries to the north, west and south with shared responsibility with the diocese for the eastern boundary.
In Coldharbour, CPC owns the triangle of land in front of Roffeys which it cuts twice a year. It pays for the cutting of Christ Church hedge and occasionally contributes to tree-work in the graveyard and the village clock on Clock Cottage. Although not owned by CPC it donates annually £1,000 towards the maintenance of the Coldharbour Community Pavilion.
Ditches on all parish land must be monitored and cleared as necessary. Overgrown vegetation, dead and fallen trees also have to be dealt with. There is a monthly programme to monitor the safety of all trees and any which become dangerous are dealt with immediately.
The CPC insurance policy covers the playgrounds in Beare Green (not the playground by Merebank as this is a Mole Valley responsibility), Capel and Coldharbour.
CPC also pays to have the equipment in all three playgrounds checked on a regular basis in order to ensure compliance with the annual Mole Valley safety check and pays for any repairs and maintenance work required. The bark surface has to be replaced every year on the Coldharbour playground and recently the boundary panelling was all replaced. CPC is also responsible for the outdoor gym equipment at Beare Green and Capel.
CPC has purchased and maintains a notice board in each of the 3 wards. It also contributes to the upkeep of the church notice board in Beare Green.
PARISH HALL and OFFICE
The refurbished building was opened in 2016, a 20-year public works loan was taken out to cover the costs which is paid back at £5,425 per annum. There is also an annual cleaning and maintenance budget of £1,200.
CPC pays an annual membership to the 'The Surrey and Sussex Associations of Local Councils' of £1,200, which provides the council with legal and organisational advise and support.
A sizeable budget is put aside every year for applications for funds for community projects within the parish which should be sent to any committee member and will be considered at the next executive committee meeting.
The parish clerk is a full-time, salaried position. There is an additional 'Admin Support' budget which is used for coverage during clerk's sickness or holidays and times of extra workload.
Regular annual costs are largely made up of utility bills, audit, legal and office costs, staff and councillor training and membership fees as well as the insurance for all parish owned assets. Currently this is £3,775 per annum to insure Capel Recreation Ground, Capel Parish Hall and Office, Capel Bowls Club, Capel Sports Pavilion, Beare Green Pavilion and the three childrens' playgrounds.
CPC is as transparent as possible with its expenditure, if you have questions please contact the parish clerk. Details of the 2019/20 budget can be found here.
The complete list of the powers and duties of a parish council are available in this document. Within it you will see that the scope of powers is wide, giving the council the legal authority to maintain your parish.
An Internal Audit was conducted on October 11th 2018 and will continue every six months by arrangement with the Internal Auditor.
A Financial Risk Assessment was conducted on November 19th 2018 and will continue annually by the chairman of the Finance Committee and the Clerk.
Monitoring the effectiveness of Internal Audits is conducted annually at the May Finance Committee meeting. All are approved and then published after the subsequent executive committee meeting.
An External audit was conducted on September 25th 2019 and will continue annually, the certificate can be viewed here.