17th November 2014
Chaired the annual budget meeting, when a draft budget was produced for the 2015-16 financial year, starting April 2015. This budget will be presented to the full council meeting on 18th December for approval, and so may be altered. The headline, as far as the council tax is concerned is that the council is proposing to increase the precept from £67,800 to £68,800, a small increase of just under 1%, following no increase between 2013-14 and 2014-15. This amount, combined with an estimated carried forward figure of circa £84,700 and £3,500 in expected income, brings the total budget for 2015/16 to circa £157,000.
The council is proposing to put another £4,000 into a fund for the village hall Rescue and Renewal Project, to bring this fund up to £59,000. The next biggest budget item is for the clerks salaries, plus PAYE/NIC and pension contributions, which amounts to £28,200. The playground replacement fund has been increased by a further £1,500 and will stand at £8,700. Street lighting repairs and replacements will attract £6,400, this for the replacement of all lanterns in Old Mill Close. Other items over £3,000 include our car park maintenance fund, increased to £3,200, office running costs, at £3,900, and street lighting energy, at £3,100. In terms of completely new items, we have set aside £500 to put in some cycle racks at the railway station, subject to permission being granted, £1,000 to contribute next year to the Darent Valley Landscape Partnership, who have many exciting plans, and web site maintenance, at £250.