Town Council agree annual budget

By newtown.wales

2 weeks ago

News Politics Budget 23

Town Councillors have set their budget and precept requirement for the the 2023/2024 financial year, and it's going to cost you a little less than expected.

Last night at a special meeting of Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council, town councillors set their annual budget at £928,162, and a precept requirement of approximately £801,885, which is collected from council tax payers as part of their bill.

Town councillors were initially asked to accept a recommendation of a 3.5% increase in precept, but instead opted for a lower rise of just 2.5%

Cllr Peter Lewington asked councillors to consider a 0% increase, due to the large underspend in the current year which has not been delivered due to a lack of staff resource. He said:

"Committees have looked at individual projects, but could I just ask again tonight, for further confirmation tonight that we do have officer resource to do all these projects? In addition to the day-to-day core business of the Town Council? We need a resource to drive these projects forward and progress them, and I wouldn't want to start them and leave them on a shelf or again, put them into earmarked reserves."

"The reason I asked for that reassurance is that we are gonna be asked to agree on budget, and when money is tight for everyone and every penny counts, we're choosing whether to buy food or pay bills, we really shouldn't be raising funds that we won't spend, especially if they will end up in reserves".

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Mike Childs said:

"The elephant in the room is inflation. We cannot ignore that. The last two years we've had a 0% increase and a 1% rise in the precept, which I think is perfectly reasonable."

"If we have a 0% increase, it is a double digit cut. All our costs are going to go up"

"The compromise here, 3.5% is probably right. My gut feeling is it should be a bit higher, but I think we've taken the very clear news. You know, we are dealing with other people's money. 3.5 is probably an effective cut of 7%. I think that's reasonable."

The Mayor, Councillor John Byrne instead proposed for a 'happy medium' of 2.5% which Cllr Jackie Molloy-Davies was supportive of. The Mayor also asked for a commitment that all the money raised would be spent, and not just "ending going in an never ending pot of resources".

The final rise was agreed by 10 votes to 3, with Cllr Mike Childs, Cllr Tracy Owen and Cllr Jack Griffin-Lewis not voting for the proposal.

The approximate £19,558 a year rise in precept, equates to a council tax increase for a Band D household of roughly 67p per year.

Proposed changes in terms of yearly charge per band per household

Year Band A Band B Band C Band D Band E Band F Band G Band H Band I
2022/2023 £119.03 £138.86 £158.70 £178.54 £218.22 £257.89 £297.57 £357.08 £416.59
2023/2024 (Approx.) £119.47 £139.38 £159.30 £179.21 £219.03 £258.85 £298.67 £358.42 £418.15
Change £0.44 £0.52 £0.60 £0.67 £0.81 £0.96 £1.10 £1.34 £1.56


  What is Council Tax and how is it worked out?

Council Tax is paid by households based on the value of their property. The amount you pay is decided by three organisations - Powys County Council, Newtown & Llanllwchaiarn Town Council and the Police & Crime Commissioner.

Each organisation sets a budget which is divided by the number of properties in an area. The town council and police portions are called a precept. It is then collected by Powys County Council and paid to the three organisations.

To view your personalised breakdown of council tax for your property, sign up for a newtown.wales account and click on the 'View breakdown' link on your account page.

The budget as agreed includes a movement from financial reserves to plug a funding gap between income and expenditure. It is likely that the budget discussions for the financial year 2024/2025 may include a much larger increase in precept, and in turn to tax payers due to the large use of reserves this year.

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