Erewash Borough Council’s battle to deal with the budget deficit and financial squeeze continues.

The council – which could see a financial gap in excess of £1m for 2024/25 - has paid concurrent grants to parish councils for many years, but this is effectively on a voluntary basis. A report to the Council Executive, which met on September 5, recommended that the grants to parish councils are phased out.

Parishes have historically received differing amounts of funding with no set formula to underpin the value of grants which is unfair. Parish Councils will continue to receive the bulk of their funding from the precept they levy on parish residents via Council Tax – this is a fair way to raise money within parish communities. Erewash Borough Council will continue to deliver the normal statutory services in parish council areas.

Councillor James Dawson, Leader of Erewash Brough Council, said:

“We have inherited a budget black hole of more than £1million just to keep vital services going the way they are. This leaves us facing stark choices we would sooner not have to make.

“Parish councils had already been warned that our grants to them were becoming increasingly unviable so have been making contingency plans.”

The report recommends not pulling the plug immediately. Parish councils will be given extra time to plan ahead. They will continue to receive the bulk of their funding from the precept they levy on residents via Council Tax. Councillor Dawson said this was the ‘right way’ to raise money within parish communities.

Under Erewash council’s plan, reduced grants will be made in the next financial year before they finally end in April 2025. Parish councils affected are Breaston, Breadsall, Dale Abbey, Draycott, Little Eaton, Morley, Ockbrook and Borrowash, Risley and Hopwell, Sandiacre, Sawley, Stanley and Stanley Common, Stanton-By-Dale, and West Hallam.

The move comes amid a vow by Erewash’s new administration to balance the books while focussing on helping residents through the cost-of-living crisis. Cllr Dawson said: “Making ends meet is not only the priority of residents, it is our priority too.”