Village Operative Consultation

Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council currently employ two part-time Village Operatives.
Between them, the Village Operatives work approximately 960 hours per year and carry out a range of activities to help keep the parish looking its very best.  This includes:

– Sweeping the pavements.

– Clearing leaves and debris at strategic locations to prevent slips trips and falls.

– Emptying the bins provided by the Parish Council.

– Collecting and bagging up litter and debris in gold bags for collection by BANES.

– Undertaking regular visual checks of the play equipment at the Playground on Cameley Playing Field and reporting any damage to the Clerk.

– Keeping our footpaths clear and accessible for walkers.

– Mowing the grass verges, the Village Green and the grass in the Playground.

– Strimming back long grass and foliage where required.

The Village Operatives also provide support to Temple Cloud in Bloom and undertake other activities as requested by the Parish Council.

How the scheme is funded

Up to now, Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) Council have provided funding towards the cost of these roles through the ‘Parish Sweeper Scheme’. This year, BANES Council granted Temple Cloud with Cameley Parish Council £3,832.96 towards this initiative. The cost for the Parish Council to employ both Village Operatives is just under double this amount in total for the year so the Parish Council are already fund a significant amount for this service through the precept.
BANES Council have announced that the funding for the ‘Parish Sweeper Scheme’ is to be withdrawn. The costs of the scheme had to be reduced by £80k by 2019-20. This may be removed entirely for the next financial year or there may be a phased withdrawal intended to support Town and Parish Council’s wishing to continue to run the scheme – those parish councils wishing to continue providing the service would face a precept rise of between 10% and 30% next year would have funding reduced over 2 years. This proposal will be considered by the Cabinet Member for Finance and Efficiency, BANES Council within the next few months. Either way, there will be no long term support from BANES Council who now wish for Parish and Town Councils to make their own arrangements for providing these services.

Baseline services which BANES Council will provide to all parishes

BANES Council will provide the following services within existing resource when the Parish Sweeper Scheme ends:

– Weeds – once a year with a contractor spray.

– Litter bins – empty litter bins owned by BANES Council and remove some where under-utilised.

– Collect gold bags of rubbish.

– Visit shopping precincts more frequently if public land (not applicable in this parish).

– Mechanical sweeping with the same frequency as now.

In addition, BANES Council will manage and respond to reports through a new online reporting system FixMyStreet of:

– Excessive/hazardous litter (broken glass or large accumulations)

– Overflowing litter bins.

– Graffiti (on public buildings)

– Fly-tipping

– Dead animals

– Abandoned vehicles.

These will be prioritised alongside work throughout the whole district.

What will not be provided

BANES Council will not undertake the following activities (currently undertaken by the Village Operatives):

– Sweeping of pavements.

– Moving of grass verges / open spaces.

– Clearing of leaves/debris from green spaces and pavements and bagging up for collection.

– Emptying additional bins installed or owned by the Parish Council (this will include Cameley Playing Field and the Playground).

– Visual checks of the play equipment.

– Installing new litter bins.

– Emptying Parish Council owned litter bins.

Impact to the budget and precept requirement for 2019/20

As a rough guide based on the current tax base, the precept requirement would increase 16 pence per week per Band D Equivalent (from 86 pence per week to 102 pence per week per Band D Equivalent) to fully fund the current service currently. A further loss to the budget is the £360 provided by BANES Council as a Local Council Tax Support Grant which for 2019/20 onwards this will be £0.

How you can help?

The Parish Council are seeking residents views on this matter and a survey can be accessed on here on Survey Monkey. Alternately, please contact the Clerk for an electronic / hard copy.