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Council approves Expenditure Budget and sets Prece

At the Full Council meeting of 15 January 2008, Horley Town Council approved its budget for 2008/2009 and set its Town Precept for a total net figure of £278,560 (compared to the net figure of £269,376 for 2007/08). Cllr Michael Miller, Chairman of the Town Council’s Finance & General Purposes Committee, explained that the town element of Council Tax would be £32.59 representing an annual increase of 69p per Band D household (+ 2.16 per cent).

The Town Council is committed to its programme of enhancements for next year as detailed in its Corporate Plan. These will include improvements to our recreation grounds and the substantive improvements to the Albert Rooms community hall which will be funded by a loan from the Public Works Loan Board. Cllr Miller commented that the Town Council has made considerable effort to structure those projects, as outlined in the Plan, on 3 year rolling programmes wherever possible. This has allowed the annual increase to be kept within reasonable levels. The increase of 2.16 per cent compares with the Annual Retail Prices Index (RPI) increase of 4.3 per cent and the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 2.1 per cent, announced in November 2007.

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

Charges for community facilities (such as the use of the Albert Rooms and football pitches) will be increased in line with inflation for the coming year. Full details of all charges for 2008/09 will be announced shortly.

Prudent use of Council finances has allowed the Council to use £20,000 of its general reserves towards next year’s costs. The Town Council also has a duty to provide for future likely expenditure. The Council is therefore increasing its earmarked funds by £30,000 for football pitches, buildings maintenance and community funds.

The Town Council has considered the need to improve security in its recreation grounds. We are therefore going to increase our budget for CCTV enhancements, which will be carried out in consultation with Surrey Police. There will also be a commitment for regular security patrols in all our parks to ensure the safety of all members of public. The Council has made a provision for floral displays in the town centre in support of our proposed entry for South and South East in Bloom 2008, having successfully achieved a silver award in 2007. Sponsorship from local businesses will also be sought.

This Council will continue to seek funding from appropriate bodies. To date we are preparing a substantial bid to the Football Foundation for work on our football pitches at Court Lodge. Other funding has been generously offered from our local Borough and County Councillors’ Initiative Schemes which will be followed up.

Detailed information on the budget will be available on our web site or from the Town Council offices.

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