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Council approves Expenditure Budget 2006/07

At the Full Council meeting of 6 December 2005, Horley Town Council approved its budget for 2006/07 and set its Town Precept. Cllr Tony Breen, Chairman of the Town Council’s Finance & General Purposes Committee, explained that the town element of Council Tax would be £30.40, representing an annual increase of £1.06 per Band D household (3.61 per cent).

Cllr Breen commented, “We have worked hard to ensure that we achieve best value for the public in the cost of services and facilities provided by the Town Council, and we have ensured that any increase is kept within reasonable levels. It has to be recognised that the council has a responsibility for the continued upkeep of our recreation parks and community hall, as well as the costs of office relocation and the commitment to provide a quality service to residents.”

The Town Council is committed to its programme of enhancements and will continue to make improvements to the recreation grounds and children’s playgrounds. Financial assistance has already been promised from the Local Planning Authority from existing s106 planning agreements for leisure purposes. This funding is being used towards the provision of a multi purpose play area in the A23 Recreation Ground and will therefore take some pressure off our leisure capital budget next year. Sadly vandalism continues to be a cost to the Town Council; consequently crime prevention will remain a top priority, and we shall provide additional CCTV cameras in our recreation areas by working closely in liaison with the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership and with Surrey Police.

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

I am pleased to report that good progress has been made to relocate our offices and we have finally identified a suitable property. Having already been granted Change of Use by the planning authority, negotiations are taking place to acquire the property at reasonable cost. The council will raise finance for its acquisition and refurbishment from the Public Works Loan Board, which provides funding for local authorities at competitive rates.

Charges for the hire of football pitches and allotments have been increased to ensure we recover the council’s running costs. Charges for community facilities (such as the use of the Albert Rooms) will be increased in line with inflation for the coming year. Full details of all charges for 2006/07 are available on request.

Prudent use of Council finances has allowed the Council to use £15,000 of its general reserves towards next year’s costs. The Town Council also has a duty to provide for contingencies. The council has ensured that earmarked (reserve) funds are maintained and regularly reviewed.

I am particularly delighted to state that, following the achievement of gaining Quality Status, we successfully bid for £5,000 from the Quality Parish Investment Fund for use on various projects. This is the first time this council has received direct funding from Central Government.”

In conclusion, Cllr Breen congratulated all members on their valuable achievements in the current financial year.

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

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