For many years East Preston Parish Council (EPCC) provided street lighting around the estate. In 2015 they decided that they could no longer afford to do so. We were presented with the decision to have the lighting removed or to pay for it ourselves. It was decided that the residents should agree such a major expense. A ballot was held, the result was that the majority of residents who voted wished for the lighting to remain. Agreement was reached with EPCC and the lighting remains.
Initially we were not required to pay VAT. Recently, however, EPCC changed their minds. The following is an extract from the estate’s Spring 2017 Newsletter:
“As reported in our last newsletter, the matter of AOSERA paying for street lighting was, once again, discussed by East Preston Parish Council (EPPC) at their September meeting, at which we asked them to further consider any concessions or reductions they might be able to make. At this time, they again flatly refused to negotiate and the Association continue to pay a monthly street lighting bill. The Association also requested that a formal contract be drafted by EPPC, indicating what the parameters of our agreement in fact are, but despite repeated and numerous requests, this has not been forthcoming.”
The Association will persist until such a document exists, which simply intends to protect all parties’ interests in the long term. Additionally, EPPC have since reneged on their original proposal to charge us for street lighting without VAT and now wish to increase the monthly bill by 12.5% over and above what they originally stipulated. The Association is contesting this and has so far refused to pay the increase, so this matter remains an open issue for the Board who will report back when there is further news. The Association will apprise residents of any development.