IT’S got through the cost-of-living crisis, the energy crisis, the Brexit crisis, even the Liz Truss crisis – and the price people in Penarth pay towards their town council will increase only by the equivalent of a cup of coffee, the authority has said.
At a full council meeting on February 12 the financial budget was presented to the council with the headline being that the precept would increase by three per cent, or £2.45 per year.
Councillors commended the financial department at keeping the precept rise so low compared to pressures such as inflation – currently running at over 10 per cent.
Penarth Town Council’s budget for 2023/24 was announced at £989,480 from a pool of 11,643 taxpayers paying a yearly precept of £84.98, compared to what they currently pay which is £82.53 (a rise of 2.97 per cent).
Councillors waxed lyrical about the budget describing it as an “achievement”, a “realistic budget”, and described income streams which were “recovering”
Cllr Neil Thomas, of St Augustine’s ward, commended the council for negotiating many obstacles over the past year.
“To keep below three per cent when inflation is rampant at over 10 per cent, the cost of living crisis, the energy crisis, the Liz Truss crisis and Brexit means we are showing incredible restraint and control, and the officers should be thanked for that,” said Cllr Thomas.
Cllr Mark Wilson, of the Stanwell ward, said the council were moving in the right direction.
“Last year we spent £27,000 on new Christmas decorations, this is the sort of infrastructure we have been doing to make sure we are fit for the future,” said Cllr Wilson.
“The financial situation in the country is very serious at the moment, we have to take that into account, if you think about it the (precept) increase probably equates to a price of coffee. We have got reserves and we are investing considerably.”
What is the precept?
Town and Parish Councils issue a precept, which is the amount of money they require from council tax payers in their area.
They use the money in their budgets to help fund their operations, maintenance of their properties and events that they may put on throughout the year.
On raising the precept, the council explained in their reports: “Due to various external factors such as the cost of living crisis and high inflation within the economy it has been a difficult process to ensure that the budget set is sufficient for the increased costs while trying to keep the percentage increase for the precept as low as possible.
“The Consumer Price Index, which is one measure of inflation rose by 10.7 per cent in the 12 months to November 22. This highlights the upward pressure on costs within the economy.”
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