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The Town Council sets Precept for 2005/06

Horley Town Council

PRESS RELEASE

At the Full Council meeting of 14 December 2004, Horley Town Council approved its budget for 2005/06 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 (Band D for 2005/2006) would be £29.34, representing an annual increase of £2.41 per household. Earmarked funds (funds which are ring fenced for future liabilities) would be increased by £26,705 to £55,000.

Cllr Breen commented, “Whilst I am disappointed at having to announce an increase in the Precept, it has to be recognised that the additional rising costs of vandalism, the unplanned Parish Poll and continued support to challenge the Horley Master Plan are the major contributing factors towards the increase.” and explained the rationale behind the decision:

“The Town Council is committed to its programme of enhancements and will continue to make improvements to the recreation grounds and children’s’ playgrounds. The Council intends to start to improve the condition of its football pitches at Court Lodge having conducted a thorough evaluation of the requirements there. Vandalism continues to be a major cost to the Town Council; consequently crime prevention will remain a top priority, with additional CCTV cameras likely to be installed.

The Town Council will continue to support St Bartholomew’s two churchyards. To assist the Church, the Town Council will make a grant of £12,500 towards essential improvements and maintenance.

Charges for the hire of football pitches and allotments have been increased to ensure we recover the council’s running costs, although charges for community facilities (such as the use of the Albert Rooms) will remain unchanged for the coming year. Full details of all charges for 2005/06 are available on request.

Prudent use of Council finances in 2004/05, has allowed the Council to use £15,000 of its reserves towards next year’s costs. The Town Council had to meet the cost of the Parish Poll in September 2004; therefore it has been decided to raise £6,000 to be placed into an earmarked fund as a contingency for any future election costs. A further £5,000 is to be set aside for costs associated with the essential refurbishment and the anticipated relocation of the Council Offices. £15,000 will be placed in earmarked funds, which together with anticipated funding from the National Lottery, will be used for improvements to football pitches.

The Planning Committee, which comments on planning applications, particularly the Horley Master Plan, will also have funds available to question any elements of the Horley Master Plan and have set aside £5,000 for this purpose.

Horley Town Council achieved Quality Status in July 2004, becoming the first Town Council in Surrey to receive the prestigious award. This will enable the Town Council to bid for additional funding from Central Government for future specific projects."

In conclusion, Cllr Breen congratulated all members on their valuable achievements in the current financial year, which have included substantial improvements to play and recreation areas.

For release at 1000 hrs, 15 December 2004

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


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