Paddock Wood Town Council is divided into two wards. The East Ward has seven members, and the West Ward has six members. Although elected to a specific ward, members can speak on any issue not just those related to their ward.
Full Council meets on the 3rd Monday of every month, at the Day Centre, Commercial Road. Meetings commence at 7.45, unless otherwise stated.
The Council has five full Committees: Planning and Environment, Estates, Finance, Governance & Procedures and Personnel. The P & E committee meets on the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, except August. The Estates Committee meets on the 2nd Monday of every month, except January & August. The Finance Committee meets in June, November, and January to review & set the budget for the following financial year, and the Personnel Committee meets as required. The Governance Committee meets January, April, August & October. Other meetings are arranged as and when required.
What do you get for your Council Tax?
The Town Council has now set its budget and agreed the precept for 2023/2024.
The Council has approved precept of £757,956 for 2023/24. This equates to a 41.7% increase on the previous year. The Precept is an annual amount set by a Town or Parish Council in order to pay for costs contained within a set budget.
The budget for this year is higher than previous years as it includes costs associated with opening and running the new Community Centre for 2023/24.
Excluding Community Centre costs, the budget/precept for Town Council activities is £550,925 (an increase of 3.0% on the previous year). The previous year’s budget was actually £523,620 with a lower precept of £500,977 as it was offset by underspends in 2021/22. As most bills have increased over the rate of CPI, the Council has reviewed its expenditure to minimise outgoings wherever possible.
The additional budget for costs relating to the Community Centre for 2023/24 is £207,031. This is expected to reduce significantly in future years as the Community Centre becomes established and a nursery tenant is in place.
What does the Town Council element of your council tax bill fund?
Paddock Wood Town Council owns and pays for the upkeep of the following sites:
- 5 playing fields plus pavilions
- 5 children’s play areas & the skateboard park
- Foal Hurst Wood, Orchard Meadow & Green Lane Spinney
- The New Cemetery & Closed Church Yard
- The War Memorial & Town Centre Benches
- Town Council offices & St Andrews Hall at St Andrews Playing Fields
- Town Council workshops at the Memorial Field
- Open spaces at Cobbs Close, White’s Corner & Mount Pleasant
- Five balancing ponds
- 3 allotment sites
- 5 bus shelters
The above sites are looked after by a full time Estates Manager & two full time groundsmen based at the Memorial Field. The Estates Committee meets monthly to agree future work.
The Town Council also funds the hanging baskets and planters in the Town Centre as well as the Christmas lights and trees.
The Town Council leases the Day Centre from the Borough Council and is responsible for the running costs and maintenance of the building. The Town Centre toilets are also funded by the Town Council.
The Planning & Environment Committee meets twice a month to comment on local planning applications.
The Town Council assists with and funds the cost of the annual Remembrance Sunday Parade. It has also purchased and maintains 4 defibrillators.
The Town Council also provide a grant to the Community Advice Centre annually of £12,000 for their work. There is an even greater need for their services in the current climate. The council also provides grants for other local groups as requested.
A contribution of £9,700 is also made towards the running costs of Putlands Sports and Leisure Centre.
The council is administered by a full time Town Clerk and a part time Deputy Clerk & Assistant Clerk/Financial Officer based in The Podmore Building St Andrews Road.
Full details of the Town Council’s budget and all its activities can be found on its website www.paddockwood-tc.gov.uk
A Band D Council Tax bill is made up of 2022/23 2023/24 % increase
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council £137.83 £141.96 3.0%
Kent County Council £1461.24 £1534.23 5.0%
Kent Police £228.15 £243.15 6.6%
Kent Fire and Rescue £82.35 £87.30 6.0%
Paddock Wood Town Council £161.25 £228.50 41.7%
Total Annual Charge £2070.82 £2235.14 7.9%
The CPI rate used for calculation of the budgets was 10.1% (Sept 2022).
For each £ of your bill, this is the split of where your money goes.
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council 6.7p 6.4p
Kent County Council 70.6p 68.6p
Kent Police 11p 10.9p
Kent Fire and Rescue 4p 3.9p
Paddock Wood Town Council 7.8p 10.2p
Although the % increase for PWTC looks large, it is a small proportion of the total Council Tax for a Paddock Wood resident.