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Bourton-on-the-Water Parish Council

Finance

Additional Financial information can be found on the following pages:

Each year the Council establishes its budget for the following financial year.  As part of this exercise, the Council also sets its precept for the year ahead. This is the sum paid over to the Parish Council by each household as a proportion of the total annual Council Tax payment which is collected from residents by CDC.

Budget Statement 2018-19

At its meeting on 3rd January 2018, the Parish Council approved its budget and precept for the year 2018-19, the precept being the share of money each household pays to CDC as Council Tax which comes back to the Parish Council to help fund services and amenities provided by it (eg the local Cemeteries, play areas, allotment sites, Community Centre etc) throughout the year.  In 2018-19 the amount of money a Band D household will pay to the Parish Council will be £75.72 for the whole year.

Whilst its responsibilities continue to increase, the Council is very mindful of the difficult general financial climate and the challenges facing the many families in the district who are on low incomes.  Accordingly, it has agreed a precept which will result in a slightly lower payment to the Council by each household in 2018-19.  This equates to a 4% reduction in the Parish Council’s share of Council Tax compared to 2017-18; whilst this is only a small reduction, the Council trusts it will assist in some way to help keep residents’ household bills to a minimum.

The Council’s budget for 2018-19 has been established in a way that provides a modest budget for new projects to help local infrastructure keep pace with recent population increases and to respond to resident requests received throughout the year.  In 2018-19 monies have therefore been set aside for additional play equipment, funding for various parking and road lineage projects, new signage at the cemetery and monies to investigate the possible installation of CCTV equipment to assist with the reduction of anti-social behaviour locally.  The balance of Council’s income will be used to maintain the day to day administration of its permanent responsibilities in and around the village, as mentioned in the opening paragraph.

The Council is also required, by law, to set aside a certain sum as a contingency fund in order to be able to respond to emergencies – the level of funds that must be set aside are reviewed annually with reference to its responsibilities at that time, and are set out in the annual Reserves Risk Assessment which is subject to approval by the external auditors.  Given the wide range of responsibilities in its care this fund is considerable and, in order to maximise these monies, the Council has now agreed to invest these funds and generate income from its reserves.  Again, the Council has been guided in its choice of investment vehicle by guidance issued by government relating to acceptable local authority investments; accordingly, the Council will invest its fixed reserves in the Local Authority Property Fund (LAMIT) which is deemed to be a specified and low risk investment which can nevertheless generate good levels of income.  Income generated from this investment will be used to fund additional projects within the community, thereby improving local infra-structure.

Council’s finances are reviewed annually prior to the annual audit taking place, and a statement relating to its strategy for the coming year will be displayed for information purposes to assist residents in understanding the thinking behind its decisions.

Details of the Council's Investment Strategy can be viewed by clicking on the relevant attachment below.

Rationale for precept 2017-18

The Parish Council has submitted a precept request to CDC of £124,802 for the financial year 2017-18.  The precept is an order issued by one local authority (ie a Parish Council) to another (ie the District Council) specifying the rate of tax to be charged on its behalf. This sum is then apportioned between all households within a community which pay Council Tax, is then collected by the District Council as part of resident Council Tax payments and forwarded to the Parish Council to help fund its activities during that financial year. Details regarding the amount of money each household pays to the Parish Council is set out in CDC's annual Council Tax statement.

The precept for 2017-18 equates to an annual payment per Band D household of £78.84 - other Bands will pay slightly more or less, but Band D properties are used as a standard guide. The annual payment of £78.84 represents an actual rise of £8.31pa compared to the previous year's payment. Part of this rise has resulted from a reduction in the amount of Grant paid by CDC to local councils each year; this Grant will be phased out entirely over the next year or two. The bulk of the remainder of the increase has been allocated to fund additions to Council's land and activities portfolio, namely village maintenance, the establishment of a Community Centre maintenance reserve fund and the long-term funding of new weekly Youth Club sessions. Additionally, a small percentage of the increase relates to various one-off projects that will be undertaken during 2017-18 in and around the village.

In all its discussions and decisions, the Council's objective has been to ensure that any rise remains reasonable in actual monetary terms and is proportionate to the scale of improvements to local amenities and facilities.

Refer to CDC web-site for full details of all Council Tax payments for each local council in the Cotswolds district.

Details of the Council's approved budget for the next financial year can be viewed via the relevant attachment below.