Cold Ash Parish Council has approved a budget of £65,413 for the year 2024-2025. This includes contracts for emptying litter and dog waste bins, grass cutting, tree work and maintaining safe and enjoyable play areas as well as administering the Council’s activities and The Poor’s Allotments & Recreation Ground Charities. The Poor’s Charities provide our Recreation Ground, Allotments and wonderful Wildlife Allotment Garden.

For the past four years, we have been able to use our financial reserves to pay the difference between our budget and the Council Tax precept. Unfortunately, this is no longer sustainable because our reserves are depleting, which means we may be unable to respond to problems as they arise; reserves must be maintained to allow the Council to continue operations while dealing with unforeseen difficulties such as flooding, climate change, and ash dieback. We worked hard to keep the budget as low as possible to mitigate the impact of CAPC’s enhanced precept proposal for 2024-2025 on ratepayers. The average Band D household’s CAPC contribution should rise by about £10.00 this year.

The budget is split into the following categories:

OfficeClerk’s Salary & Pension
Clerk’s Training
Office Services (Electricity, Water, Phone, Alarm etc)
Maintenance & Equipment
AdministrationPostage & Stationary
Reference Books & Councillor Training
Meeting Room Hire
SubscriptionsSubscriptions to bodies that assist Parish Councils
Remembrance Day Wreath
Grit Bins
Library Grant
War Memorial Maintenance
Tennis Courts Maintenance
EnvironmentStreet Lighting
Waste/Litter/Dog Bin Collections
Street Furniture
Hedge & Grass Cutting & Maintenance
Play Area Inspections & Maintenance
Neighbourhood Development PlanFunding the creation/implementation of the NDP
ContingencyAn allowance for unforeseen spending

The 2024-2025 allowances for each budget category are as follows:

2024-2025Budget AllocationChange from 2023-2024
Neighbourhood Development Plan£2,000.00-60%
Contribution to Reserves£1,157.22-19%
Total Budget£65,412.94-3.4%

Explanation of budget changes – 2024-2025

Cost CentreExplanation
OfficeIncreases in staff costs
Increased utility costs
AdministrationNew software provision including Office 365 and a finance package
SubscriptionsIncreased charges
CommunityBudget lines previously included within Environment, specifically related to the Recreation Ground and Allotments, have been reallocated here within a Community Grant to The Poor’s Allotments & Recreation Ground Charities, of which this Council is Sole Corporate Trustee. This change is reflected in the reduction in the amount allocated for the Environment category.
EnvironmentIn addition to the explanation above, changes within this category include:
Savings by appointing a new contractor for emptying litter and dog bins
A new budget line for streetlight repairs
Savings by using CIL monies to replace bins
Increased grass cutting costs
Neighbourhood Development PlanA reduced budget to facilitate the emerging NDP (expected May 2024) .
Contribution to ReservesReduced to prevent a higher increase to tax payers than is absolutely necessary. Council will need to work to increase reserves in future.


Funding for the budget comes from:

  • Income from Glebelands Cemetery
  • Council Tax Parish Precept
  • Unspent monies from the previous year’s budget

For 2024-2025 the Cold Ash Parish Council Precept is £66,000

Annual Return

Every year the Council’s finances are audited by our internal auditor and by a Government appointed external auditor. The Council’s annual returns are published here every year.

Internal Auditor’s Reports

Confirmation of the dates of the period for the exercise of public rights.
On Behalf of Cold Ash Parish Council, I confirm that the dates set for the period for the exercise of public rights are as follows:
Commencing on: Tuesday 4th June 2024
and ending on: Monday 15th July 2024
Rosie Jardine, Clerk & RFO to Cold Ash Parish Council

Community Infrastructure Levy

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a levy charged on most new development within an authority area. The money is used to pay for new infrastructure supporting the development of an area by funding the provision, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure.

While most of the levy is allocated to West Berkshire Council a percentage is allocated to the Parish Council to spend in the Parish.

The Parish Council has to publish on its website how it spends this money and this information can be found below.