Town council budget combats funding shortfall

The town council is looking to reduce the parish precept even though it has taken a funding hit of over £23, 000.

It normally comes from the borough council but has been withdrawn due to the funding pressures that it finds itself under.

However, the town council’s finance committee has totally re-vamped the way it comes up with the yearly budget and changed practices that have been taking place for years.

Cllr Phil Trumper said for years there has been a surplus fund at the end of the financial year which then went into the reserve pot or has been used for other projects.

But some of these allowances have been deemed unnecessary and used to top up the general budget.

For example, £5000 is set aside each year for elections but they might only be held every four years.

And, the town council takes a percentage of the profit from admissions to the museum and art gallery and indications show that these are expected to be higher than usual.

Cllr Trumper said: “They have been sticking to a certain way of doing things and the only way they balanced the budget was by raising the precept which I think was wrong.

“If there is a surplus they should not be asking for more money from people.”

Cllr Trumper added that the council gives the community more now than in previous years and for less cost to them.

It has recently introduced regular beach clean-ups and hosts Armed Forces Day events, Remembrance Day services at the war memorial, the Mayor’s charity ball and is working on a story board project.

The precept for 2015/16 will be £204, 320 as it was last year.

But due to there being more properties, the tax band reduces.

It means a band D property will pay £44.28 over the year, compared to £44.37 last year.