On Monday 16th January the Town Council agreed a budget of £850,515 for the 2023/24 financial year.
It has been a difficult budget round. Along with everyone else, this council has had to face the impact of cost inflation in key areas. A 68% rise in energy costs alone accounts for £17,000 of the increase in expenditure since the budget for the previous year was drawn up.
The Council has also spent the last few months working towards clarity over the running costs of our facilities and this budget has taken this into account.
We will continue to look for savings through the year which can be used to mitigate future inflation or invest in community services. However, we cannot rely on unknown savings when we set the budget and precept which has to be done on a prudent basis which we are confident of delivering.
With all this in mind the Council has agreed a budget which includes projected income of £105,355 and expenditure of £955,870. Details of the income and expenditure can be found at https://burnham-highbridge-tc.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Approved-Budget-2023-24.pdf. These costs include the work of the Town Council to maintain our cemeteries, administer allotments and fund some of the key civic events in the towns. The budget also covers maintenance of certain public facilities such as public conveniences and dog bins, the Princess Theatre and the work of the Town Rangers to support residents and visitors, as well as the award of grants of £35,000 to community groups.
The expenditure will be funded partly by a precept of £768,500, which will form part of the council tax along with the requirements of Somerset County Council and Police. This equates to an increase in the Town Council element of £7.60 per year to a Band D property to £116.10. The remainder of the spend will be supported by a drawdown of council reserves of £82,000.
We understand that any increase in council tax is difficult for households, especially in these times. That is why we have chosen to mitigate some of the cost increases this year by drawing on reserves, while we try to work through where savings may be available to minimise future increases.