The Council’s budget for the financial year 2018/2019 has continued to provide considerable financial support for many local organisations who have applied for grants to help to pay for a wide range of activities throughout the year. As well as a variety of smaller groups, Horwich Carnival, Horwich Heritage, Horwich Music Festival, Horwich Festival of Racing and Cedar Avenue Village Green Fete have also continued to benefit from generous financial assistance from the Town Council.
Horwich Community Centre and Horwich Heritage Centre continue to thrive with the Council’s support, with the Heritage Centre continuing to attract many visitors with its varied programme of exhibitions and events. The Community Centre continues with initiatives to raise its profile in the wider community as well as providing a variety of facilities and activities for the people of Horwich. Funded jointly by the Town Council and the Centre’s own reserves, the refurbished Saddlery area has been available for full community use since May 2017. The original part of the building was completely re-decorated in 2018 as well as having new flooring installed in the main hall and entrance, providing fresh, updated surroundings for all Centre users. The Centre served as a collection and drop-off point for donations for the emergency services who were involved in fighting extensive moorland fires on Winter Hill during the summer heat wave, with Council staff delivering the donations to Horwich Fire Station.
Sadly, due to a shortage of volunteers and a lack of entries Council made the decision to cancel its Horwich in Bloom gardening competition in 2018. However this allowed staff and volunteers to concentrate their efforts on running a successful Home Produce Show at the Community Centre. This event gives local growers and bakers the chance to showcase their skills, with special categories for younger entrants.
Local organisations make good use of the free publicity for their events available on the diary page on the Council’s website www.horwich.gov.uk. In addition the Council now has its own Facebook page and Twitter account. The Council’s quarterly newsletter continues to be well received and is available at locations in Horwich. As a departure from the town guide which is produced every two year, in 2019 the Council intends to trial a new civic trail map and visitor information leaflet.
Council has consulted throughout the year with the unitary authority, Bolton Council, on a wide range of matters of importance to the Parish such as planning issues, as well as the police. With the Council’s support, the Horwich Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group is on track to consult with the local community to produce a Neighbourhood Plan that will enable the sustainable growth of the town while meeting the demands of the Local Allocation Plan for housing.
While keeping costs to a minimum Council continues to increase its role providing add on services and facilities to the community of Horwich. It allocates funds for environmental initiatives such as spring and summer planting of the town centre’s 24 flower troughs, additional winter gritting for some of the hillier parts of the town, provision of free dog waste bags at the Community Centre and the employment of a part time street cleaner to address the concerns of local businesses and public concerns about litter and other environmental issues in the town centre.
The Lighting of the Civic Christmas Tree Service continues to mark the start of the festive season in the town and was well attended by all ages with the welcome involvement of Horwich Rotary Club, Horwich RMI Brass Band and Horwich Community Choir. In 2018 the event welcomed the first Children’s Lantern Parade which was a great success and it is hoped this has started a new tradition, hopefully to be repeated.
The annual Remembrance Parade and Service continues to flourish due to the promotional efforts of the Town Council who send out invitations and provide the band, with the organisation and support of the Royal British Legion in Horwich. Each year sees the increasing attendance of local groups and organisations as well as the general public. 2018 had special significance as the town commemorated the end of WWI. The annual Poppy Appeal was well supported and the streets of Horwich were once again decorated with lamp post poppies generously sponsored by local businesses, organisations and members of the public as well as the addition of soldiers’ silhouettes at various locations. The Council funded a refurbishment of the Loco Works War Memorial and also made a generous financial contribution towards the illumination of Rivington Pike which was organised by Chorley Council during Remembrance period to commemorate the centenary of the end of WWI.
The Town Mayor has had a busy year, performing a wide variety of civic duties, with the support of the Town Mayoress, assisted by the Deputy Town Mayor, supporting several good causes including Horwich Visiting Service, Horwich Widows and Mhist.
Staff continue to work with Councillors to develop the role of the Council & maintain high standards of professionalism in the Council’s activities as the Council’s role expands. Staff training is ongoing and Members are encouraged to take up training opportunities offered by LALC on the role of Councillors and Council procedures. External Auditors found no matters for concern for the financial year 2017/2018 and Internal Auditors report that they are satisfied that financial controls and systems are effective. The annual risk assessment has been undertaken, the internal system for financial control has been reviewed and Council policies continue to be reviewed and updated.
The role of Town Councillor remains completely voluntary, Members do not receive any payment or claim any expenses. 2019 is an election year, and as the Council faces new challenges it is important that it builds on foundations already in place, keeping the best of tradition while continuing to contribute to the ongoing success of the modern community which is Horwich.
Councillor P. Wright
SUMMARY OF ACCOUNTS: AS AT 31 MARCH 2018
|In Reserve Account||£||16,000|
|Bank Balances (Inc. Cash in Hand)||£||100,339|
|Creditors & Accruals||£||20,107|
|Net Current Assets||£||82,326|
|Financed by Reserves|
Total expenditure under Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972: £22,250
Limit: £116,979 (Electorate 15,453 x £7.57 per elector)
Councillors Attendance Register
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Horwich Town Council
Town Council Office
Horwich Community Centre
Tel: 01204 691090 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For previous annual reports please visit the Finance page.