Parish Council spending review

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Parish Council spending review

Postby Clive205 » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:39 pm

Each year the Parish Council decides on a budget for the forthcoming financial year.

The budget is based on expected costs that the Council will be required to meet (non-discretionary), and also items that the Council wants to support / invest in locally (discretionary).

The Parish Council then put a claim into Daventry District Council who add the Parish Council's request to Parishioner's Council Tax demands.

Historically discretionary items have always included local groups like the Evergreens, and bodies like the Playing Fields group and Village Institute.

The Council has already started discussions about the budget it should be setting for the financial year 2011/ 2012.

What do you think the Parish Council should be spending on / not spending money on ?

Let your Councillor know or why not comment on here ?
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Re: Parish Council spending review

Postby tudor » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:59 pm

My view is that discretionary spend should be focused on specific issues requiring money. In the case of the VI this could be new carpets, for example. For the church it could be the toilet, the new windows, the Lytch gate etc. For HPF it might be repair to a swing.

I emphatically do not believe the council ought to be spending taxpayers' money on organisations or charities which are self sufficient or in surplus. We ought to be supporting causes or organisations which do not have that abilility, while encouraging them to achieve similar levels of self sufficiency.

I do, however feel that the HPC ought to pay the commecial rate for the hire of the village hall. For example that would mean paying the VI a fee of £324 a year, that being 3 hours rent of the bar area each month. I suppose it could be argued that HPC ought to also pay the fixed charges for electricity and gas as these would be incurred whether there are paid events or not. What I am saying is that we ought to be moving away from vague (and unjustifiable) donations, and toward paying for, or toward, specific services or initiatives.

What HPC will and will not spend money on should (like any other charity or commercial entity) be determined by defined criteria. linked to annual objectives and or strategy. Not by subjective judgement, personal relationships or feelings of "deservedness".

The problem of following that latter course is that, even if agreement is reached on a suitable recipient the question then becomes "how much should be donated". Once again, that just leads to subjective judgement rather than an auditable rationale. And that means rational debate becomes impossible.
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