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Precept for 2010/2011

On behalf of the Town Council I would like to announce that the Precept has been set for a total net figure of £282,769 (compared to the net figure of £280,886 for 2009/10). This means that town element of Council Tax will be £32.80 which represents an annual increase of 11p per Band D household (+ 0.34 per cent).

The Town Council has recognised that these are difficult economic times and a thorough review of all the Council’s costs and services has been conducted. This action has allowed the annual increase of the Precept to be kept within very modest levels. The increase of 0.34 per cent compares with the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 1.5%, as announced in October 2009.

I stress that the Town Council remains fully committed to maintaining all its services as well as pursuing its programme of enhancements, as detailed in its Corporate Plan. These will include improvements to our recreation grounds, and further improvements to community halls. I would like to state that the Town Council has made considerable effort, wherever possible, to structure these projects on continuous three year rolling programmes. The newly refurbished Edmonds Hall continues to give the Council increased income from lettings.

The Town Council will continue to support St Bartholomew’s two churchyards and will make a grant of £13,000 towards their grounds maintenance.

Prudent use of Council finances has allowed the Council to use £30,000 of its general reserves towards next year’s costs. The rebuilding of the Albert Rooms is now complete, apart from some minor enhancements. As charges were already increased this financial year to take account of the improved facilities in the Edmonds Community Hall, there will be only modest increases next year in line with inflation. Full details of all charges for 2010/11 will be announced shortly.

The Town Council also has a duty to provide for future likely expenditure. I am pleased to announce that the Council is therefore increasing its earmarked funds by £15,000 for football pitch improvements, buildings maintenance, playgrounds improvements and community funds.

The Town Council will continue to improve security in its recreation grounds. Therefore a provision has been made for further CCTV enhancements to be carried out in consultation with Surrey Police. There will also continue to be a commitment for regular security patrols in all our parks to aid the safety of all members of public.

The Council has made provision for floral displays to enhance the town centre for the benefit of residents and in support of our planned entry for South and South East in Bloom 2010, having already won two awards in 2009. We are also providing the Town Centre Christmas Tree. We will do our utmost to seek sponsorship from local businesses but we naturally recognise these are difficult economic times.

This Council will continue to seek funding from appropriate bodies. To date we are formulating a substantial bid to the Football Foundation for work on our football pitches at Court Lodge Fields. We are grateful to those Borough Cllrs who have used their Community Awards Scheme to provide generous funding.

In conclusion, in a challenging financial climate, Horley Town Council is committed to continue to provide and enhance facilities that meet the communities’ needs, and in doing so, achieving them at best value.

Cllr Dr Richard Olliver, Chairman Finance & General Purposes Committee
8 December 2009

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