7.3 Report – Budget and Precept for 2022-23 211102

November 2021 Uploaded on October 28, 2021

2nd November 2021
1.1 It is the appropriate time to consider the form of the budget to be established for 2022-23. It
is necessary to inform CEC of this Council’s Precept requirement for 2022-23 before Christmas
2021. This task continues to be more complex than it used to be because of the four pots of
money that the Council now holds:
 The “general” budget and related funds based around the key receipts of Precept and
Village Hall hire, against which expenditure is focussed on the Council’s administrative
costs, including the cost of the Clerk, and the running costs of the various properties
that the Council owns (including some minimal allowances included for possible
repairs to the Council’s buildings, tree work, etc which really should form part of a
council’s general budget).
 The pool of money received as Community Infrastructure Levy.
 The Covid Business Grants received last year.
 The funds for preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan – in large part a government
grant but supplemented by one or more financial allocations made by the Council.
1.3 In respect of the so-called “general” budget, Appendix 1 shows an initial draft budget based
upon the following key elements:
 The Precept remaining unchanged at £13650.
 Assumed Village Hall hire income of £2500 (for information, this figure reached £2316
in 2018-19, £2859 in 2019-20, only £150 in 2020-21, and a figure of £1000 may be
reached by the end of the current financial year).
 Purchase of a new laptop – cost allowed £600 (excl VAT)
 Energy costs increased by 50% over those assumed for 2021-22 in the light of current
energy price hikes.
 The VH cleaner’s costs increased as previously agreed.
 Continuing payment for the large ‘litter’ bin at the IROS.
 Continuation of the Council’s Zoom account.
 Various other small-scale annual increases.
 The Clerk’s annual fees increased by an assumed figure of 2% (for the pay award not
yet agreed for the current financial year) plus another 3% assumed for the potential
pay award for 2022-23), plus an assumed 16.7% increase in hours (from 30 per month
to 35 per month), which might be considered to reflect recent and likely continuing
demands on that function.
1.4 The resulting figures show an annual income of £16450 and expenditure of £17481 – i.e. a £1031
1.5 Clearly, this mismatch cannot be accepted and either costs should be reduced or receipts
increased, or both. The only way of increasing receipts is by increasing the Precept, and / or
increasing the hire rate for the Village Hall. It has stood at £6/hour for many years. Costs can
be reduced by taking some individual items out or reducing some items of cost.
1.6 In addition to the costs incorporated in the initial draft budget, recent discussions have included
the following potential expenditure items:
 Installation of Broadband at the Village Hall: possible recurring annual cost say £400.
 Possible purchase of equipment to enable streaming of Council meetings: possible oneoff
cost say £800.
 Purchase and erection of new village signs/traffic calming ‘gateways’ at the main
entrances to the village: costs perhaps £to be reported.
 Erection of further ‘keep off the grass’ bollards at the IROS: potential costs £650.
 Various current Asset Management items, e.g. fascia boards, Village Hall pointing.
 Contribution to installation of average speed cameras: recurring annual payment of
1.7 Please note that CEC in sending out their request for notification of Pickmere’s Precept
requirement for next year has advised as follows:
“…if your current Band D Council Tax (of £36.18) remained the same, this would
increase your precept from £13,650 to £14,141. Alternatively, if the precept remained
at £13,650 then the Band D Council Tax would reduce to £34.92 when using the new
1.8 Thus if the precept remains at £13650 in total, then the Parish Council element of the Council
Tax bill for each individual dwelling in the parish will reduce.
2.1 The following table was presented to Council last month, representing an outline of the state
of the other funds held by the Council, the allocations already made by Council in relation to
them, and the remnant moneys left unallocated – amounting at the current time to £23594.
Potential expenditure item Source Amount
Funds to support Neighbourhood Plan Govt NP Grant residue £5964
Funds to support Neighbourhood Plan
Community Infrastructure
Funds to support Play area refurbishment
Community Infrastructure
Funds to support Play area refurbishment Council’s Earmarked funds £6000
Possible future legal fees (general) Council’s Contingency funds £1000
Contingency held for IROS Grass cutting Council’s Contingency funds £2000
Contingency held for possible additional
tree work
Council’s Contingency funds £920
Clover Drive play area and Clover Drive
sites – maintenance fund
Council’s Earmarked funds £10,000
Funds held against possible future election
Council’s Earmarked funds £2000
Village Hall – unforeseen building
/equipment repair or replacement
Council’s Contingency funds £1000
Pavilion – unforeseen building /equipment
repair or replacement
Council’s Contingency funds £300
Sum earmarked to cover potential loss of
Village Hall income 2021-22
Covid Business Grant £2000
Review of assets and possible refurb /
replacement of buildings including
planning, architectural & legal costs
Council’s Earmarked funds £9500
2.2 Further to that table, the Funds held against possible future election costs should now be
increased to £2750, as £750 of this year’s general budget was allocated to that purpose.
2.3 In addition to that amendment, notification has been received in the last few days that a further
£6416 Community Infrastructure Levy has been received from CEC. At the time of writing which
new development this relates to is not known.
3.1 This information is presented for initial discussion. The decisions required from Council by the
December Council meeting at the latest are as follows:
 Agreement of the ‘general’ budget for 2022-23, leading to:
o A decision as to the size of the Precept to be demanded for 2022-23.
 Confirmation of the financial reserves that are:
o allocated to the expenditure items noted in Appendix 2 section 3 (Allocation of
o newly to be allocated to individual expenditure items or areas from the £23594,
bearing in mind the need to balance the budget and taking into account the items
referred to in paragraph 1.6 above.
4.1 That members consider the report and decide on how to proceed.
J Steel
Clerk to the Parish Council