Horley Town Council has announced that the Precept has been set for a total net figure of £293,543. This means that the town element included in the total Council Tax bill will be an annual sum of £34.62 for a band D household for the financial year commencing 1 April 2014. This represents an increase, significantly less than inflation, of 67p (1.97%) for the full year. This means the Horley tax element has risen by 5.9% over the last 6 years, averaging out at under 1% per annum. Any increase in tax, particularly at the moment, is unwelcome. This Council is supremely conscious of the challenges facing many families, however this year your Council is having to face one particular major challenge; the Roof of the "Innes Pavilion", built by voluntary subscription in the early 1970s, urgently needs replacing. The Pavilion is used by the local football teams, and was previously leased to Horley Sports & Social Club on a full repairing basis. This expense was unexpected, however once repaired, the building will become a community facility as well as providing improved facilities for the footballers. Your Council has borrowed £70,000 over five years to help fund the cost and the Town Council greatly appreciates the help given by the Gatwick Airport Community Trust in the form of a grant of £30,000 spread over three years.
The urgent need to safeguard the building has meant that other projects planned for this year and next have had to be put on hold. The high standard of maintenance of Horley Recreation Ground, Memorial Gardens, and Town Centre, as evidenced by the Silver Gilt awards in the South & South East in Bloom competition, as well as the many other open spaces around Horley, will be safeguarded. So also will be the maintenance and inspections of the children’s playgrounds and teenage facilities however, financially, there is no hiding the fact that we are facing a tough year. Additionally, and, once again, this Council ( i e the Horley populace) has suffered unnecessary expense caused by vandalism. Three new heavy concrete outdoor table tennis tables have been broken and an outdoor chess board has also been damaged. These were all brought in, thanks to voluntary subscriptions and a great deal of effort by many people.
The Council cannot emphasize too strongly that our only income source is from you, our electorate. This is either in the form of your direct tax or from fees for Football matches, Allotments and Hire of our "Albert Rooms". Any unplanned cost has to be met from one of these sources.
I believe I can fairly say that many of your Town Councillors put in a full shift every week on a totally voluntary basis and that the town’s limited but nevertheless important responsibilities are diligently performed with the able help of a committed back office.