Have your say! Here are some questions that have been raised by parishioners about the future of the council. We will add to them as questions are received.
Why is a community governance review being held?
Income (From your council tax via the parish council precept demand) together with allotment rents equals the expenditure of the council. Without significant increase to the precept demand the council is left with minimal income to undertake its duties on behalf of the parishioners.
What other options have been considered for the future
The council has held discussions with neighbouring parish councils to consider a merger, saving money and reducing the number of councillors required overall. Unfortunately we were not able to come to an agreement to merge councils.
What is the council's income spent on?
The parish council is a lawful entity and should have the services of a clerk & financial responsible officer that ensures that public money is spent according to rules, that the council also adheres to good governance. As the parish is so small we can only afford to pay a clerk for 4hrs per week. This makes it difficult to recruit. The salary costs for a clerk equate to over 50% of the council's budget. To save budget this year following resignation of the council clerk the role is currently being undertaken on a non-salary basis by the chairman. Other major expenditure is aligned to maintenance of the Charity land at Ledston Luck. To view the budget go to the Documents page on this website.
Why is this happening now?
The current councillors do not intend to stand for re-election in 2023. This could result in the council not being able to operate lawfully. Five new councillors would need to stand for election to enable the council to operate. Over the last few years recruitment and retention of councillors has been an issue.
Why doesn't Leeds City Council pay for grass cutting and maintenance of the two pieces of land playground in Ledston Luck?
The two areas of land were gifted to Ledston Parish Council by CISWO and the parish council is the sole trustee and therefore has responsibility for maintaining and managing everything on that land. The playground itself was the built with the proceeds of a grant application made by a local resident.
What happens to the money that the council has in its reserves and why can't it use that money now?
Parish council rules state that reserves must be kept for certain purposes such as an election reserve in case of contested elections, and a general reserve which provides monies to enable the council to meet its liabilities for a period of time if it ceases to operate. At the present time the Council has £4000 in reserves. If the outcome of the consultation exercise is that the parish council should cease to exist we will ask Leeds City Council to clarify what happens to the reserves.
What other options are there if the council ceases to operate in 2023?
If the parish council ceases to operate from next year it is possible for each village to set up its own 'community group'. A community group can bid for funding and have its own bank account. it can also have a say on planning issues, similar to a parish council.
Support for parishioners would continue to be available from our Ward Councillors James Lewis, Mary Harland and Mirelle Midgley.