Spread the love

Budget 2023/24

Councillors have been working hard scrutinising the spending of the Town Council as part of the setting of the budget for 2023/24. They had the very challenging task of ensuring there are budgets to enable the public, staff, buildings, cemetery, allotment sites, play areas, car parks, and open spaces are looked after and safe, and that the Council complies with legislation whilst recognising that council taxpayers are also having to deal with the increase in the cost of living.

The precept is the Town Council part of the Council Tax that is collected by Stroud District Council. It is calculated as part of the Town Councils budget and fills the gap between the Town Councils planned expenditure and its estimated income. The Town Council does not receive any direct funding from central government, or a subsidy from Stroud District Council, and therefore the precept is a necessary part of the Town Councils income.

This year there was an increase on the precept for 2023/24 which, for a Band D rated property is 39p per week which equates to an extra £20.46 for the year, this will be shown as a 10.2% increase on the Council Tax invoice (less for Band A to C properties).

The Town Council used some of its reserves to keep the precept to a minimum, however, the Council does not have large reserves like some Councils, and it must keep reserves to deal with emergencies, and to build reserves for community projects. Unlike some other towns, Wotton does not have major housing developments, and therefore there is little offsetting of the council tax resulting from them.

The Council considered the major projects that are being carried out and completed including the review and awarding of the youth services contract for the town; new car park off Symn Lane; the Town Hall repairs; the new build of the Old Town Toilets; the replacement of equipment in the Symn Lane play area; tree works following the major tree survey; and the main paths in the allotments which were identified as a safety priority in the annual tenants meeting.

Grants and contributions were also awarded to Wotton Swimming Pool, the Heritage Centre, Wotton in Bloom for the hanging baskets, Wotton Lions for the Christmas trees, Wotton Library, Citizen Advice Bureau, Air Ambulance, Cobalt, grass cutting at the Tabernacle Church, Synwell Playing Fields Association, and The Keepers; plus free use of Council facilities for fundraising by local community groups e.g. Town Hall Teas which have the use of the Town Hall therefore the organisations can keep all funds/donations taken.

Warm Spaces

The Council has joined up with other venues to ensure there is a warm space for people to go to every day. These offer refreshments for free or pay as you feel. Some offer activities, books, free WiFi, tv, free phone charging, and access to support services. For more information please check out the Councils website www.wotton-under-edge.com or email the Town Clerk: clerk@wotton-under-edge.com