Precept for 2012/13
On behalf of Horley Town Council I would like to announce that the Precept has been set for a total net figure of £295,830. This means that the town element of Council Tax will be £33.30 which represents an annual increase of 50p per Band D household. This increase is well below the current rate of inflation. This Council will continue to fight the effects of inflation on the town element of local Rates.
The Town Council is very aware that in the current recession everyone is feeling the pressures on their finances. As always, your Town Council has kept expenditure down to a minimum compatible with a continuing healthy council. We have endeavoured to make as many savings as we can within town budgets and will try to find more savings through the coming year. This will inevitably mean that all new items of expenditure and existing projects will be put under increasing scrutiny to weigh up the cost against the benefit to the community.
Over the last few years we have kept rises in precept down as much as possible and in fact have increased the band D household contribution by only 21p over the last three years. This has been achieved by using some of our reserves. These are now running low as a result. Prudence dictates that we must ensure that we have enough reserves to ensure that the services that we run for the residents are adequately financed.
Your Town Council currently owns or manages most of the recreational green spaces in the town. We have taken over the management of Yattendon Road, Riverside Gardens, Church Meadows and the Town Centre planters on an agency basis at no cost to the residents. We have tried to make the Town centre as attractive as possible by the use of hanging baskets etc. This was so successful that this year Horley won two Silver-Gilt awards in South East in Bloom. The children’s play areas in the parks are highly appreciated by local residents and a number of parents with young children come from miles around because of the quality of our play equipment. We also have skateboard/BMX ramps and an all-weather sports pitch in the Recreation Ground for older children and youth. We have extensive football pitches in Court Lodge playing fields. We have made the recreation areas safe for our residents by use of CCTV and close liaison with Horley Police.
We also carry out other services for the residents such as scrutinising all planning applications in the town and giving advice and support to residents. We try to press for local issues such as road repairs and have been very successful in pushing for a new swimming pool and leisure centre for Horley.
We are an active council which has always been very frugal in our use of ratepayer’s money. We get no additional grants from central government but compare very favourably when compared with other similar sized town councils expenditure in terms of what the average Band D ratepayer pays. The entire Council is committed to doing as much as they are able for the town as cost effectively and to as high a standard as possible. Your Council will face up to these challenges and continue to work as efficiently as possible. We will continue to seek funding from appropriate bodies and sponsorship where possible.
Cllr Dr Richard Olliver, Vice Chairman of Horley Town Council and Chairman of Finance & General Purposes Committee
3 January 2012