Pendle Council’s Executive will discuss the transfer of some of its services and facilities to town and parish councils on Thursday night.
The move comes as the councul faces severe financial constraints, placing increasing pressure on these services and facilities, whereas at the same time there is more flexibility for town and parish councils to increase their resources by raising their precepts while the council’s scope for increasing council tax is severely limited. Secondly, with the possibility of a move to larger unitary councils on the horizon, passing these facilities and services to town and parish councils should help in keeping them in local control, and it is apparent that some town and parish councils have increased appetite to take on more services and facilities.
There has already been some engagement with town and parish councils around this. A meeting of Executive members with all town and parish councils was held in July, 2013 and there were also more specific meetings and discussions involving those councils with community centres and public conveniences in their area.
A report from deputy chief executive Philip Mousdale to the meeting says: “There is now a need to put all this process on a firmer footing with a more comprehensive and co-ordinated approach so that both the council and town and parish councils can understand and agree the future direction and expectations of each other
and make the necessary plans.
Members are asked to agree to a phased programme of transfer beginning in 2015/16 with services such as play areas and multi-use games areas located outside parks.