BALANCING THE BOOKS
The Parish Council is responsible for maintaining many areas and facilities within the parish that come with ongoing maintenance costs. All these increasing costs have to be budgeted for. Gnosall Parish Council always looks for funding opportunities and is successful with many of the applications it makes. However, as we all know, the cost of all services has risen and continues to rise. To maintain the standards that we are used to extra funds are required. Gnosall Parish Council provides many facilities and services and arranges community events during the year to the benefit of its parishioners which we will continue to do as part of being a Quality Gold status Council.
The Parish Council is required to maintain and pay for the facilities it provides (the Acres, the Boardwalk, the outdoor gym, the tennis courts, the MUGA, the children’s playground, the picnic area, the Chippy jumps, the Grosvenor Centre, the Youth club, staff salaries and much more). This expense is met from the precept, the amount charged to each household in the parish, as well as from a few grants. Some funding is received from the County Council to help with grass cutting costs but this is reducing by 25% and some grants have been removed as a result of central government cuts. Some funding is received from Stafford Borough Council, the concurrent grant of £3680 and £545 towards Christmas expenses but like with any grants, they could be removed.
Over the past few years the expenditure has been greater than the income (a deficit budget) and the shortfall has been made up from the council’s monetary reserves in order to keep the increase in the precept to a minimum. However, the council is required to keep a minimum monetary reserve and unfortunately, if we continue this practice we will not have the required reserves for 2020/21.
By keeping expenditure to the minimum and still provide a good service to the parishioners, the council decided that a balanced budget would be necessary (where income = expenditure). This has resulted in an increase of 18p per week per household (based on a Band D property). Although this works out at 26.6% increase, the percentage figure is high because of the small size of the precept it is based on. If it had not done this the Parish Council may have had had to reconsider its activities and the services it provides. Councillors believe we provide excellent value for the precept received, when compared with other local Parish Councils that charge more for less service provision.
Cllr. Kenneth Ingram Chairman of Resources Committee
Parish Council share of Council Tax
Charge per household (Band D) £35.51 £44.96
Charge per week 68p 86p
Clerk, Gnosall Parish Council