|For immediate release||18/01/19|
Newtown And Llanllwchaiarn Town Council Agrees Its Budget For The Coming Year 2019-20.
The Town Council met on Tuesday in special public session to set its budget and workplan for the next financial year 2019-20.
Introducing the debate, the Mayor Cllr Sue Newham reminded Members that to reach the decision the budget setting process has been very thorough and visible to all. The budget had been though several iterations of consideration/reconsideration by each committee – with all Members having had good opportunity to input and debate pros and cons of the budget plan for 2019-20. The town council has also followed very carefully the legal procedure to justify its decision and its final precept figure.
Cllr J Barker, Chair of Resources Committee opened discussions and highlighted significant points of change from the previous year – making up the loss of £11,000 Powys CC grants for public toilets, over £32,000 for marketing and tourism post-bypass; £10,000 on St Mary’s Church; additional work on flowerbeds in the town centre; costs of legal obligations on property maintenance, and providing the staff resource to deliver the 5-year business plan.
The cost per band D household will change by £1.89 per month to £172.31 per annum, giving a total precept of £746.697. The town council element is the smallest proportion of the overall council tax after County Council, Police Service, and Fire & Rescue Service.
Cllr Barker said “Given the uncertainty around county council finances, it’s even more important that the town council plans and invests for the future rather than merely dealing with or maintaining the present, and I think the combination of the 5-year business plan on which we consulted widely last year and this budget plan gives a firm foundation for the town council to do just that. We have tried to strike a balance between our ambitions for the town and the need to limit any increase in the charges to our residents. This increase of under £2 a month is similar to other large towns in Powys.”
The Mayor, Cllr Newham said “I’d like to thank all councillors for the way they have gone about making these serious and at times, difficult decisions. Even where there are differences of opinion it’s a testament to the hard work done by the committees and their support staff that there is readiness to listen and respect alternative viewpoints.”
Town Clerk Ed Humphreys, reminded councillors that “the decision is now collectively owned by Council – and therefore by all councillors – with all having a similar collective responsibility to ensure the council delivers on its commitments.”