At the Town Council meeting on 16th January 2018, Councillors agreed a Precept requirement for 2018/2019 of £378,395, resulting in a Band D Council Tax of £176.87, an increase of £6.13 for the year (12 pence per week).
Services at Risk are still a key consideration for the Town Council in the new financial year. We continue our commitment to supporting sustainable services in the town, by committing a further £30k for this purpose.
The future destination of the Library Service in Church Stretton should be confirmed in the new financial year and at the time of writing, the Council has received requests for financial support from two prospective tenderers for this service. The Town Council is committed to supporting a sustainable library service in the town and has responded positively to the requests received, providing that either is Shropshire Council’s preferred contractor.
Shropshire Council will soon indicate the level of financial support for the Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre. There will inevitably be a considerable funding gap, which the Town Council alone cannot hope to fill, and an innovative, multi agency partnership will be required if community use of the leisure centre is to be secured.
Reductions in funding for Youth Services have lead us to develop a new project, working with key partners and stakeholders, we shall identify and map existing provision. Outcomes from this project may well require funding support.
Over and above these important services, Shropshire Council has proposed in their current budget consultation, to cut the Environmental Maintenance Grant, which the Town Council has received since 2008. This could leave a £3k gap in our funds, which we shall need to address to maintain service standards.
We are conducting a number of reviews across our own services, to increase efficiencies and lower costs. We continue to encourage volunteers to support us in our aims and seek external sources of funding to increase capacity, whenever this is possible.
We have also undertaken a thorough review of fees and charges, which has lead to some increases to fees that had not been increased in recent years. Significant elements of the Authority’s activities, are underpinned by income generated through fees and charges. Whilst being an important element of the overall financing of the Council’s services and activities, fees and charges also have an important role in ensuring that service users pay fairly for the services that they use and do not place an unfair burden on the precept payer.
Further information on the content of the budget is available as a printed leaflet from the town council office or via the town council website www.churchstretton-tc.gov.uk
Download the Budget for the year ending March 2019 here