People living in Staple are being asked to lend money to the village, to help save future generations from paying extra high rates.
The money is needed to buy a three acre site for a playing field.
Staple is the second parish in East Kent to decide to go ahead with the purchase of a playing field, involving the villagers in a debt which could last for the next 60 years.
Langdon Parish Council made the same decision in January, voting to borrow the money from Dover District Council and pay it back, with 15 per cent interest by the year 2035.
Staple ratepayers could have found themselves in the same position had it not been for a “self-help” loan scheme devised by Parish Councillor Bert Jinks.
He has worked out that if 100 people would lend £40 each for six years, interest free, the playing field could be acquired, and ratepayers would only face an increased precept for six years.
Had the loan gone ahead through the District Council, the parish would have had to pay £23,000 for a £4,000 loan, with ratepayers paying 2 ½ to 3p in the pound.
Cllr. Jinks’ scheme would still involve a 3p rate, but only for six years.
He outlined how it would work at a special Parish Council meeting on Monday.
People who would be invited to lend money would not only be parishioners, but those living outside the village who were interested in the scheme.
The money would be dealt with through a legally set up Loan Trust Scheme, and it might be, if the money was invested, that some interest could be paid at the end of the six years.
Cllr. Harold Vickers told the meeting that he had already had an offer £100, interest free, from a resident at Summerfield.
During the meeting, Cllr. Ken Smith worked out that ratepayers would pay a total of £23.40 in six years if their property had a rateable value of £130.
But they would have paid £25.10 in the first nine years, and £32.50 in the next ten years – a total of over £67 – under the original District Council loan scheme.
Members thanked Cllr. Jinks for his work on behalf of the parish, and the chairman, Cllr. Alf Fright made a special appeal for discussion of the scheme in and around the village.
He called for local people to “Show how to cut, at a stroke, the tendency for costs to escalate by obtaining their local amenities by becoming directly involved”.
Land Swap: It was back in 1935 that the Parish Council was first instructed to look for a piece of land that could be used as a playing field. The search went on through the 1940’s and it was mentioned again during the next decade.
In the 1960’s the subject was quite a talking point, and in 1973, at the parish meeting, villagers were asking why the Council had not found any land.
Last year, a three acre site at Buckland Lane was put up for sale, and then a local farmer offered to swap some of his land next to the Village Hall for this three acre site.
So the village now looks like getting a playing field, adjacent to the Hall -- without paying for it for 60 years
.n.b. Bert Jinks' proposed plan was accepted and both the land swap and the loan scheme went ahead. The 'local farmer' referred to in the article was also Bert Jinks.