Hard decisions each year
Each year Whitchurch Town Council has to take hard decisions over setting its annual budget. This year has been made more difficult by the cuts being made by Basingstoke & Deane and Hampshire County Councils.
With a growing population and increasing demands, the Town Council has introduced a five-year forward planning framework to ensure that residents obtain best value, as well as holding enough within reserves for unavoidable and unexpected eventualities.
Next year’s budget
2018/19 will see a Band D property pay the equivalent of £5.32 a month (to £63.84.pa) for Town Council services. This is an increase of £3.70 per household per year.
A main reason for this rise is a cut in Council Tax Support Grant from Basingstoke & Deane, along with a possible requirement from BDBC for Parish/Town Councils to pay for future elections.
Helping to maintain and improve the town’s amenities
In addition the Town Council has allocated funds to help run the No.59 community bus service for a third day to assist local people particularly those with mobility and social needs.
It has also allowed for additional resources for Street Cleaning; has set aside funds for the 1918–2018 WWI Anniversary and has planned for improvements to its website, communication and online presence.
Funding for Alliston Way and Kingsley Park Recreation Grounds, the Cemetery, the Winchester Road Allotments, Community Grants, Street Lighting, Town Hall upkeep, and administration make up most of the remainder.
Whitchurch Town Council Chairman John Buckley said:
“I am proud of a Town Council that looks to maintain services and stand up for local residents when being faced with cuts imposed from elsewhere.”
“Whitchurch is a growing town and the Town Council recognises the increasing expectations. Our statutory responsibilities may not match those of Basingstoke or Hampshire but being closest to the Whitchurch townsfolk we are best placed to listen to local needs.
Grateful thanks must also go to Cllr Rebecca Jordan who oversaw the budget process, and to all the local groups and individuals who have given their volunteer time over the last year to help keep our town a lovely place to enjoy”.
Note: The Town Council’s precept is added to the requirements of Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, Hampshire County Council and the Police to make up the total Council Tax amount to be paid.