Precept 2017-2018 (Council Tax)
|Cultural and related services||135,977||137,013||38,123||98,890|
|Grant and other income||(134,495)||26,749||(26,749)|
For a band D property (band D is the average that is used to make comparisons nationally) the precept now makes up just under 4% of the council tax bill - £67.63 on a bill of £1637.59. Which makes an increase of £9 a year, or 75p a month.
This Council's costs include:
Facilities and Assets
The Glebe sports fields and pavillion
Printing, Postage and Stationery
Insurance and Training
Rent and Rates
Overheads and Admin
West Mersea Town Council has considered long and hard over the 2017/2018 precept and after an extensive discussion we came to the unanimous decision that we had to make an increase from our 2016/2017 figure by 15.6% to maintain our services and pursue some of the items below. It should be noted that we reduced the 2016/2017 precept by 12.5% so the increase over the 2 years in real terms for West Mersea is approx. 1%
If we now look at how the precept will be spent, there several key areas that the Council is pursuing.
1. A Neighbourhood Plan – It was clear from the Public Meeting held in September 2016 that West Mersea residents wanted a say in the housing situation and not simply to leave this in the hands of the Colchester Borough Council Local Plan. One way of achieving this is to establish a Neighbourhood Plan. However, this costs money and a great deal of volunteer time. We have allowed within the precept to support these costs.
2. The Public Toilets – Many residents will remember that there was a public outcry when Colchester Borough Council wanted to close all the public toilets in Mersea. In the end, they were taken over by West Mersea Town Council – The toilets are costly to maintain and within the precept we have to allow for this maintenance and we also have an allowance for the refurbishment of the Coast Road facility within the 2017/2018 period.
3. West Mersea Town Council are aiming to improve and develop the use of the Glebe sports facilities and buildings and to this aim have set aside a sum of money to cover improvements to the tennis pavilion for use by the community.
4. It is hoped to provide recreational facilities for older children at West Mersea Park (Youth Field) and if possible, to replace the ageing children’s play area (School Gardens). We also planned to improve and manage the trees within the park to provide a better and more sustainable environment.
5. Financial provisions been made to replace the tractor in the near future which is essential in the work of the Council. There have also been obligatory pension increases that must be accounted for within the precept.
All this and much more does cost and, although 15.6% appears a high percentage, it is applied to a low base figure so that a Band E property rises by less than £1 per month and a Band D property by even less, approx. 75p. As a local Town Council, we are working hard to provide you all with the best services possible and getting the best value for money we can.