The Town Council’s accounts are audited twice annually, and reports can be viewed on request by contacting:
Town Clerk: 01980 622999
2 Flower Court, Flower Lane
Amesbury Wiltshire SP4 7JE
|Expenditure||2016/17 (£)||2015/16 (£)||2014/15 (£)|
|Administration / management / maintenance||248,279||228,855||174,160|
|Promotions / grants / donations||20,350||25,600||25,550|
|Projects and facilities||96,000||74,262||72,050|
|Total gross expenditure||364,629||328,717||271,760|
|Less||2016/17 (£)||2015/16 (£)||2014/15 (£)|
|Use of reserves||19,785||41,399||4,036|
|Council tax support funding from Wiltshire Council||1,762||9,793||13,415|
|Budget requirement (precept)||270,000||214,374||203,710|
to view the Accounting Statement for 2014-15, please click here
Budget Report for Full Council Meeting on 6th January 2016
As reported to the Town Council in December, the budget for 2016/17 is based around ideas put forward to improve and sustain the Town Council’s management of Amesbury’s facilities through the five year plan, a rolling programme of expenditure, with a clear vision of what is achievable over time.
An increase in services being passed to the Town Council from Wiltshire Council is likely to affect future Precepts, but no additional expenditure is anticipated for 2016/17. The budget ensures that essential services are maintained and that available funds are carefully managed to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of Town Council operations.
Staffing, Council Management & Administration:
The recruitment of a caretaker for the Bowman Centre/Pavilion was unsuccessful, and some work was covered for a time by the Town Caretaker. The 2016/17 budget allows for a weekly clean of the pavilion by a local cleaning company and 20 days’ holiday cover by the same for the Bowman Centre cleaner, not previously budgeted for.
Otherwise, no change is to be made to the staffing levels in 2016/17, although future practices may need to change to respond to the increase in council business, and careful thought will be given by the Policy Group and Finance Committee over the coming months on how to cover this most effectively.
The premium is increased in 2016/17 to reflect an increase in the number of facilities taken on in 2015/16, also others coming on line in the year.
New cost centres for 2016/17 include Office Repairs & Maintenance and Office utilities, not previously budgeted, but requiring expenditure during 2015/16.
The budgeted figure for Flower Court rates was incorrectly anticipated, projecting a reduction in overall costs following the Community & Visitors’ Centre being brought under the umbrella of the Community Group Charity Status. This has, to date, not taken place, and the budgeted figure for 2016/17 allows time for this development to happen in slow time.
Further budget increases in grounds maintenance are anticipated with the addition of a new cemetery, allotments, skate park and BMX track and future transfers of land at Kings Gate. S.106 funding will cover some of this work, but the Town Council should consider the best means of maintaining its property to maximise efficiency and to keep costs to a minimum. As reported in December, an evaluation of maintenance issues will be conducted during 2016/17 to provide the best sustainable service possible.
Recreation Road Cemetery has in the past been infested with moles and rabbits. An allowance has therefore been made for 2016/17 to cover the cost of dealing with this possibility.
Repair costs for the recreation areas are likely to increase given the additional parks installed at Archers Gate in 2014 and 2015.
A new cost centre ‘General Maintenance’ will cover costs with no previous allocation.
A recommendation is made to support the Carnival in future years and £1,000 is included in the total sum for 2016/17.
The Street Cleaning Scheme is to share its budget with a Community Clear Up Day, with the understanding that the Clear Up Day costs will also be supported by outside agencies.
Events and Projects:
The cost of the three year contract for Christmas lights (2015 – 2017) is less than in previous years, with no loss of quality in the displays used. Further thought is to be given to future years in the hope of reducing this still further.
The Town Council’s support of Amesbury In Bloom is to continue with the contract to supply and maintain the town’s flower baskets.
Lords Walk path improvements are to be funded through R2/S.106 contributions rather than directly through the budget.
CCTV, if necessary, will be funded from the Town Enhancement Reserve, therefore not requiring a budgeted figure through the Precept.
It has been noted that actions via CATG for highway maintenance/projects will require funding from the Town Council, therefore a budget of £6,000 has been allowed for this in 2016/17.
£15,000 has been allocated to the car park/public conveniences to support work to be undertaken as a result of Wiltshire Council’s anticipated devolution of responsibility to the Town Council. Further work is to take place to ensure minimum cost to the town.
Commuted Sums 2016/17 = £502,706, with an amount transferred to ‘income’ to pay towards grounds maintenance costs. £216,189 of the Commuted Sums is currently held in short-term investment accounts.
Reserves remain as in 2015/16, with reduced funds in Pavilions and Town Enhancement, due to expenditure in 2015/16 and in Precept Shortfall, with £8,000 being used in the 2016/17 budget to bolster the income.
Bowman Centre figures have been adjusted according to anticipated spend (from historical actual spend in 2015/16). The rates will be increased, as the relief benefit in 2015/16 will no longer apply. It is anticipated that the Bowman Centre will continue to support itself financially.
Wendy Bown RFO 23 December 2015