There have been several comments about the financial incompetence of Anston Parish Council during the past few years so my thanks go to A.Resident. for taking the time to crunch and check the figures.
Anston Parish Council-controlled by the Labour party-has debts spiralling out of control. You-the local taxpayers-will be paying off these debts for the next 20 years. APC is funded by income from parish assets which generate approximately £15,000-£20,000 per year and the balance is raised through the ‘Anston Tax’ commonly known as the precept. Up to the end of March 2004 APC’s precept was £144,000, up to and including the financial year ending March 2015 the precept is £250,794. APC was given a grant this year of £31,121 by RMBC otherwise the precept would have been £281,915. A 96% increase. In 2010-2011-when the average inflation rate was 4.5%-Anston Parish Council expenditure was £258,365, this year the expenditure is £319,036, a 23.5% increase but the cumulative inflation rate for 2014 was 1.4%. The average monthly inflation rate from May 2010 to March 2015 is 2.8%. So between 2010/2011 and 2015 Labour’s spending has increased by 23.5% while inflation has averaged 2.8%. Inflation is now 0%. Anston Tax (aka the precept) has risen every year under Labour. In 2011/2012 the tax for Band D homes was circa £85.86 but in 2015/2016 this has risen to £93.07, an increase of 8.4%. Without the grants from RMBC the precept would have been much higher. In 2013/2014 the grant was £18,966. In 2014/2015 the grant was £31,121 and in 2015/2016 it will be £31,121. In 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 the grant will be reduced by £10,373 every year. How will our financially illiterate Labour councillors fund the shortfall? Rearrange the following words into a well known phrase or saying: Increase. Local taxpayers. Precept. (It is worth pointing out that Miliband will not ride to their rescue: “I will not hand over billions of pounds to local authorities without also insisting on a new system of checks and balances. The next government will introduce a statutory requirement for local authorities to set up a public accounts committee with powers to scrutinise value for money for all services in their area. This would be coupled with new requirements to publish performance league tables for every local service so that people can hold them to account“) http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/06/labour-local-government-powers-spending. APC has incurred a massive debt of £254,156 to buy 32 acres of greenbelt land now renamed Rackford Meadows. Despite many requests APC refused to consult the local electorate before plunging us into debt. They borrowed the money from the Public Works Loan Board which has to be repaid over the next 20 years at £12,801 per year. Forget all the guff about “We bought it to ‘enhance the Woods’. A SSSI is already enhanced by Greenbelt land. During the May 2011 elections Labour councillors signed up to six pledges including: “We will consult residents before taking any major decisions affecting the village, including the Parish Council budget.” Despite this pledge the only ‘consultation’ by the Labour majority was the feeble attempt on setting the 2014/2015 budget, this fraudulent ‘consultation’ was designed to be too late for local residents to have any input or influence. The budget set by APC for the year ending March 2015 indicates expenditure of £319,036 compared to income from parish assets of £14,490, the precept of £250,794 and the grant from RMBC of £31,121. The anticipated deficit will be £22,631. The budget for year ending March 2016 has already been passed without any public consultation nor has it been posted on the parish website-up to 5th April. Anston residents should make every effort to attend Parish Council meetings when they can judge for themselves the performance of their elected parish Councillors. Councillors are elected to represent their electorate but this should not prevent the public having their say. If APC Labour councillors and sham Independents Brindley and Ireland were any thicker they’d coagulate.