At the meeting of the Commissioners on Thursday 25 January, the Board voted to hold the Parish rate at £2 for 2018/19.

The Chairman, Mr Andrew Jessopp advised that whilst the Authority expects to benefit in the coming year from an increased rate income, due to a number of office and other developments being completed during the financial year, it has accepted a loss of £29k from commercial rents from garages which the Commissioners have agreed to demolish as part of their plans to develop 30 social housing units on the Snugborough Farm site.

He went on to explain as part of a 5 year strategy for Cronk Grianagh Park, the Commissioners plan in this first year to enhance both the children’s play area and around the skate park as well as undertaking general land maintenance. The scheme will be part funded from their reserves but plans include an improved playground surface, painting play equipment, a naturally formed viewing gallery for the skate park and a public toilet.

Money has also been budgeted to increase the amount of work undertaken on the services transferred from central government such as road sweeping, hedge cutting and gully emptying in order to further improve the service to residents and businesses in the Parish.

The Commissioners have also agreed to use monies from reserves to erect new bus shelters on the Cooil Road now that the roadway has been reconfigured.

As a precautionary step, funds have been earmarked in the reserves for use if the Authority feels that it needs professional advice in relation to the Eastern Area Plan..

Provision has also been made for smaller schemes include improving the external drainage and grassed areas of the Memorial Hall, money to support 2018 Year of Our Island project, more and newer hanging basket displays and the purchase of more festive decorations for the Parish. Further improvements to the playground surface at Clybane park are also planned.

In summing up, the Chairman said he was delighted to be able to hold the rate for the forth coming year whilst still making further investment in the Parish.