Hedon Town Council has agreed not to increase the precept for 2021/2022.
In a press release issued today the council reports on its decision made last night:
“Councillors were very mindful of what a tough year it has been for all Hedon’s residents and agreed unanimously to set a zero increase in the precept for the year ahead.
“The budget for the year ahead (at £249, 900) also reflects the situation. Although some projects were postponed, the Council demonstrated its continuing commitment to supporting community events and looking after the Council’s assets. In the event there is a shortfall in funds to meet the agreed budget expenditure, this will be met from general reserves which the Council has prudently built up over the last 4 years.”Hedon Town Council
On community events, the council has not dismissed holding Hedfest this year, but if the event does not go ahead then the £5,000 allocated towards it will be earmarked and saved for 2022. One event that councillors thought could possibly take place was the Dog Show ‘Scrufts’ but this would be determined taking into consideration the coronavirus pandemic but could be held later in the financial year i.e. next year. Provision will be made for a Christmas Lights switch-on event in November.
Hedfest will be a subject on the agenda of the council’s Finance & General Purposes committee meeting on 28 January. Other issues on the agenda to be discussed at the Zoom meeting, include; dog fouling, an update from Holderness Health on the vaccination programme and the council’s carbon neutral plans.
Council Extra: The issue of council reserves ‘the money put aside for a rainy day’ was also discussed last night. £217,000 is held by the council in total reserves reported the Town Clerk in response to a question by Cllr. David Thompson. Of these, £79,000 were earmarked for future and predicted council expenditure. The remaining £138,000 represents the council’s unrestricted or general reserves.
CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, describe such general reserves as a ‘working balance’ to help cushion the impact of uneven cash flows, and a ‘contingency’ to cushion the impact of unexpected events and emergencies. According to CIPFA, a well-managed authority with a prudent approach to budgeting will have a general level of reserves appropriate for the risks to which it is exposed. The level of reserves held is a matter of judgement between a local authority and its chief financial officer.
Some town and parish councils, in line with many of the larger voluntary sector organisations, opt to govern their building and use of reserves via an agreed policy set out in a document.