Every year Elham Parish Council receives funds from Shepway District Council to help provide essential local services for parishoners; the maintenance of public spaces, repairs, grass cutting, and small subsidies for charitable events and ongoing projects. This funding is the Precept. The Precept is directly linked to the Council Tax bill of every person in the parish. It is a net cost borne by everyone. In the view of the Council its spending of the Precept must be held to the lowest possible level. Every pound spent is a net cost to the taxpayer.
Elham Parish Council runs a lean budget. Our Precept is one of the lowest in the country £17,000 for the current year compared to £40,000 average for the UK*. The Council has authorised a 3.2% increase in the Precept for the current year against an average increase of 14%. Some councils are increasing their precept over 100%
A low-spending council might be seen as unadventurous, unfashionable even. Would you prefer your parish council to be adventurous with your money? Please refer to our Audited Accounts for the past year 2016-17: Debt: Zero.
The view of the Council is that it is there to facilitate activities within the parish, not be the instigator of them. Interested groups function best by creating their own projects; the recruitment of members, the organisation of events and fund raising where appropriate. They are free to approach the Council for assistance, and in some cases a subsidy.
Without proper fiscal restraint parish councils risk their credibility. Given that the latest council tax increases total 4.9% we consider that it is ever more expedient to ensure that the Precept is kept to the minimum.
KCC: % Increase 2018 3.0%
KCC: Adult Social Care 2.0%
Kent Fire & Rescue: 2.9%
Police & Crime Commissioner: 7.6%
TOTAL COUNCIL TAX INCREASE: 4.9%
* source BBC
Cllr Brian Swan
4th April 2018