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Council Approves Budget for 2004/2005

At the Full Council meeting of 27 January 2004, Horley Town Council approved its budget for 2004/05 and set the town precept.

Cllr Tony Breen, Chairman of the Town Council’s Finance & General Purposes Committee, explained that the town element of Council Tax for 2004/2005 would be £223,500, representing an annual increase of £4.05 per household. Earmarked funds (funds which are ring fenced for future liabilities) would be increased by £5,000 to £29,474. This would result in a Band D Parish element of Council Tax of £26.93 per household per annum.

Cllr Breen explained the rationale behind the decision:

The Town Council is committed to improving facilities in the four recreational grounds for which it is responsible. Recent European legalisation has meant that the Council must make improvements to children’s’ playgrounds and update its equipment. The rolling programme to improve play surfaces and equipment is in its second of three years. The Council intends to improve its football pitches at Court Lodge in 2005 and has already conducted a thorough evaluation.

Vandalism has been a major cost to the Town Council, consequently crime prevention is a top priority with projects in the process of being implemented to combat anti social behaviour.

Central Government has introduced a comprehensive package of legislation to develop the role of local councils. Horley Town Council is strongly committed to achieving Quality Parish Status. Many of the requirements to achieve QPS are already in place, whilst a number of further issues remain to be resolved.

The Town Council will also ensure that St Bartholomew’s two churchyards are adequately funded. To assist the Church the Town Council will make a grant of £12,000 towards essential improvements and maintenance.

Lastly, prudent use of Council finances in 2003/04, has again allowed the Council to transfer an additional £6,000 from reserves. A further £5,000 is to be set aside for costs towards the enforced relocation of the Council Offices.

In conclusion, Cllr Breen congratulated all members on their valuable achievements in the current financial year. These included substantive improvements to play and recreation areas, a dedicated team to comment on planning applications, and important administrative improvements.

For release at 0900 hrs, 28 January 2004

Further information available from Horley Town Council’s Help Line on 01293 784765.

Alan Jones
Town Clerk

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