Council Tax 2019/20

A recommendation that Erewash Borough Council raises its share of council tax for 2019/20 by 2.99% is expected to be sent to the council’s budget setting meeting on Thursday 7 March.
Councillors at a meeting of Council Executive next week (19 February) look set to support the increase – which works out at £5.42 p.a. or 11p a week - and, if agreed, it will mean that the council’s charge for a Band D property in Erewash will rise to £186.59 p.a..
The proposed increase comes at a time when local authorities continue to face financially challenging times with continuing reductions in government funding.
The council has worked to achieve significant savings over the last few years and the outsourcing of its leisure services on 1 February this year will bring direct savings of just over £600,000 p.a. together with anticipated back office administrative savings of approximately £300,000 p.a.
The council is working towards further savings in the region of £1.2m to enable balanced budgets to be set in future years.
Councillor Wayne Major, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Resources, says:
“We have worked very hard over the last five years to balance our budgets against the backdrop of continuing financial pressures. Going forward, we are under no illusion that the challenge remains a tough one – but we can assure residents that they remain at the centre of everything we do. We have done everything in our power to maintain and protect frontline services and that remains at the forefront of our work as we strive to meet the challenges ahead.”
The meeting of Council Executive is at Long Eaton Town Hall on Tuesday 19 February at 10.30am. The budget-setting Full Council meeting is at Ilkeston Town Hall on Thursday 7 March at 7pm.

Good news for retailers

A proposed new business rates discount scheme to help small and medium sized retailers for the next two financial years is expected to go to Erewash Borough Council’s budget-setting meeting in March.
Councillors at a meeting of Council Executive next week (19 February) are set to agree to send the new scheme to Full Council with a recommendation that it be approved.
The move follows a Government announcement in its autumn budget that eligible retailers with a rateable value below £51,000 will receive a one-third discount on their business rates bills in 2019/20 and in the following financial year. Local authorities are following national guidance to draw up how their discount schemes will work.
If approved, eligible businesses in Erewash for 2019/20 will be identified and the discounts applied automatically to their bills – meaning businesses do not have to apply for the relief. The council will be fully reimbursed for the discounts applied.
Councillor Wayne Major, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Resources, says:
“This scheme is all about supporting our small and medium sized retail businesses and we are sure they will welcome the news that their business rates bills will be cut by a third for the next two financial years. It is also important that the scheme is as efficient as possible and that is why the discount is applied automatically rather than businesses having to fill in forms and make official applications.”
The meeting of Council Executive is at Long Eaton Town Hall on Tuesday 19 February at 10.30am. The budget-setting Full Council meeting is at Ilkeston Town Hall on Thursday 7 March at 7pm.

Cash boost for community groups 

Three rural community groups in Erewash look set to benefit from over £12,000 in grants from the final round of the Rural Community Grant Fund Scheme.
Councillors are expected to give the greenlight at a meeting of Erewash Borough Council’s Executive on Tuesday 19 February. 
The Rural Community Scheme was launched in 2015 to recognise the good work carried out by local groups and Parish Councils in the community. The council has supported many projects over the last four years that will benefit rural communities. The scheme will end March 2019.
Next week’s meeting is expected to give the go-ahead for the following grants:
• £4,830 to allow the Draycott Millennium Green Trust to create a circular pathway on the village open space
• £2,140 to allow Risley Hall Management Committee to replace the village hall floor.
• £5,580 for Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust. The grant received will go towards materials, equipment and village hall hire to accommodate volunteers involved in the groundwork and restoration of the Borrowash lock chamber.   
Designed to benefit the community, bring local people together and improve neighbourhood engagement, community groups are encouraged to work alongside their Parish Councils who apply for funding on their behalf. 
Leader of Erewash Borough Council, Councillor Carol Hart, says:
“All Parish Councils in Erewash have been encouraged to apply for grants on behalf of local groups and organisations. We are delighted to have been able to grant fund so many worthy projects over the past four years that will benefit communities and residents for years to come.” 

Supporting our Armed Forces

Erewash Borough Council will once again be joining other local authorities to sign the Derbyshire Armed Forces Covenant which pledges our support and guidance to members of the Armed Forces in the county. 
At a meeting of Council Executive on Tuesday (19 February) it will be recommended that the Leader of the Council, Councillor Carol Hart, will sign the agreement, along with the Armed Forces Member Champion, Councillor John Sewell, at a formal ceremony to be held at County Hall in Matlock next month.
The council first signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in June 2012 and later that year signed a joint agreement with all local authorities. The covenant has now been updated and all authorities are being asked to consider re-signing.
Leader of Erewash Borough Council, Councillor Carol Hart, said:
“We are very proud to once again be signing the Armed Forces Covenant - by doing so, we are showing our commitment to helping all Armed Forces in Derbyshire, including serving personnel, veterans and their families. Help can be provided in so many ways, including employment, housing, welfare and health. We will work alongside other local authorities to make sure that all Armed Forces are made to feel that they are fully supported in their communities.”

New play days ahead

An exciting new expanded play area at Shipley View in Ilkeston looks to be given the go-ahead and should be in place by early summer 2019.
At a meeting of Council Executive next Tuesday (19 February), proposals to build a new play area on Barling Drive are expected to be approved.
Erewash Borough Council successfully secured £100,000 of external funding from WREN (Waste Recycling Environment Ltd), the not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects. The development will enhance the look of the site and significantly increase the number of play facilities on offer for children. 
The grant means there is very little financial cost to the council and officers will shortly begin working with local residents and members of Ilkeston Parents for Play to discuss possible designs for the new play area.
Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Leisure and Culture, Councillor Mike Wallis, says:
“We are delighted to have been awarded this substantial grant which will enable us to provide an up-to-date and bigger play area. It will make a massive difference to families in the Shipley View community who will be able to use a much improved outdoor play facility that’s right on their doorstep.”