Friday, January 8, 2010

Good Budget but it still has problems!

The Budget of 2008/09 was a mess. The Budget of 2009/10 was better, but caused problems. The Budget of 2010/11 is better but still has problems. The direction of travel is the right way. So what is wrong with this budget?

There are 2 problems. These are capital spending and council tax rates.

The budget is a fair reflection of the net cost of the current configuration of the Town Council. What it lacks is capital spending. This is an important part of the budget. Leaving this out only stores up trouble for the future. Leaving out capital projects means items aren't renewed only pushes the costs forward to future years. In effect there should have been a capital budget of roughly £100,000. This would have taken the precept up to £950,000. Leaving out capital projects will only come back to bite this Council in the future.

The Council Tax rates also look good with a 3.84% decrease. That is slightly untrue. This is true for me as a 2009/10 SNTC Taxpayer. But those annexed into SNTC from EHPC and SNRPC will be paying vastly higher amounts. I look at this differently from the Town Council. The 2010/11 new precept is £858,757 divided by the council tax base of 10,195 = £84.23 Band D. If I take the 2009/10 Precept of £803,576 and divide it by the same council tax base of 10,195 = £78.82

The way I see this is there has been an increase in Council tax from £78.82 to £84.23. This equals a rise of £5.41 or 6.8% increase. The precept rose from £803,576 to £858,757. An increase of £55,181 or 6.8%.

The increase in Council Tax Base is from 9178 to 10195 = 1017. This is a windfall of £85,662. The large rise comes from the annexation of the Town Ward of EHPC and Love's Farm.

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