The promoters of dividing Worth Parish Council published a proposed precept budget in the event of a Parish division including set up costs for a new Crawley Down Council. The Community Governance Review Working Party appointed by Worth Parish Council, examined these and felt there were several significant variances that should face challenge.
Below you will find an alternative budget that Worth Parish Council believe is a more accurate illustration of the basic budget and set up costs for a new Crawley Down Council. Plus Worth Parish Council's definitive figures for the anticipated cost of a division. We also wanted to demonstrate clearly why there is disparity between the costs suggested by Worth Parish Council against those lower costs quoted by the Promoters.
Also below, is an illustrative budget for what would remain of Worth Parish Council in the event of a division - which would become Copthorne Parish Council.
The impact this would have on the precept portion of the Council Tax for residents is a potential immediate 11% increase for Crawley Down residents alongside a potential 35% increase for Copthorne residents. This equates to an average increase of 20% across both our villages.
Worth Parish Council Definitive Figures for the Anticipated Cost of a Division
Worth Parish Council Copthorne Budget Calculations
Worth Parish Council Crawley Down Budget Calculations
Effect on Band D Precept of Council Division
Worth Parish Council has previously stated “it is not unreasonable to conclude a division of the Council could cost WPC residents circa. £150,000”. We acknowledge the expectation that we should provide the rationale as to how this conclusion was reached. The first thing to say after seeking professional advice is, it is clear NOBODY – including the promoters – can state with any certainty at this stage the costs of executing a division of the Council. There are just too many imponderables within the complexities of the process meaning the final cost will not become clear until after a division if resolved.
Nevertheless, we have made every attempt to do this by obtaining evidence (informed by an FOI request), referencing the most relevant and historical case studies, and seeking independent advice from professionals with significant relevant experience. We still conclude that it is reasonable to expect that the combined internal and external costs at principal and local Council levels of preparing and executing a division of Worth Parish Council will exceed the £100,000 previously suggested to Full Council. This does not include HR costs arising from any division of the Council. Again, there are many variables here in terms of possible outcomes and associated costs. There is also the £20,000 estimated by the promoters as set up costs of creating the new Council. We must also consider the ongoing costs to both resultant Councils due to duplication of many functions and the loss of economies of scale. If you add all these factors together, stating that the cost could potentially be £150,000 is more than realistic in today’s terms.
Following the first consultation of the Community Governance Review of Worth Parish Council, Mid Sussex District Council asked Worth Parish Council and the Promoters to provide revised budgets for both potential new village councils and a revised estimate of the costs of division. You can find this information above under Independent Report.