Budget Time Again

Anston Parish Council can only spend, raise or use money if it has a statutory power to do so. It has a wide range of powers under different acts of Parliament, most of which are discretionary. The exercise of these powers may depend on other bodies, for example, the owner of land or another public body such as the highways authority. Almost all the powers of Anston Parish Council may be exercised by either the Parish Council or the Borough Council.

Anston Parish Council raises money by precept (a mandatory demand). The precept required is then collected by the Borough Council as part of the Council Tax levied on tax payers in the parish.

The Precept. The precept is the amount of money collected by local councils via the council tax. In areas where people contribute to a local council through the council tax, they are contributing to the local authority at their most local level. It can sometimes require some understanding from the community that in order to see things happen, there may be a need to raise the precept. This should never be done without proper budgeting processes but services and facilities cost money. Anston Parish Council is responsible for the services it provides and is also responsible for spending public money lawfully and achieving the best value for money.

Anston Parish Council has to prepare a budget in January each year for the following financial year which runs from 1 April to 31 March. Every payment made by the Council is listed at the end of every set of full Council minutes. Receipts are also logged in the minutes. APC accounts are available for scrutiny by any resident by appointment with the Clerk of the Council.

This is your chance to have your say on how your money is spent. We know APC councillors read this blog so tell them what you think. For example; Do you think £7,000 spent on hanging baskets is good value ? Where should the parish council spend more money and where should it spend less? Could APC share some costs and services with Woodsetts Parish Council and/or Dinnington Town Council?

There was a lot of discussion and contention between parish councillors last year about the budget, some councillors wanted to raise the precept and others wanted to reduce it. (One councillor wanted to slash £50,000 from the budget and was laughed at)

Because of prudent financial management and more rigorous scrutiny on spending APC managed to save approximately £28,000 in the financial year 2015/2016. Some of this money is earmarked for projects (Which I cannot disclose or divulge at the present time) which otherwise would not go ahead.    Update: The cost to Anston taxpayers for APC  in the financial year 2015/2016 is £264,000. (£22,000 per month).

In the financial year 2016/2017 Labour controlled RMBC will take £10,000 from our Parish Grant in addition to the £10,000 they took last year and they will withhold another £10,000 from us in the financial year 2017/2018. All councillors whether they are Borough or Parish councillors have a duty to minimise the effects of the reductions to APC grants but careful planning, reducing wasteful expenditure and -unlike the previous administration-obtaining competitive quotes for specialist works will go a long way to reduce the burden on local taxpayers.

 

 

 

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26 Responses to Budget Time Again

  1. miss f sales says:

    Note to s Thornton yes I am very informed on apc business

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  2. S Thornton says:

    I see “miss f sales” failed to make a coherent response to a rather simple subject. Mr Pearson should make more of an effort to sign off with his real name. As for leaving budget meetings, I can assure you “Mick” was not lying in his explanation.
    I challenge “miss f sales”, who seems to know all the Council Business inside out, to come up with a “positive idea” to make savings to APC budget, to include full costings. ( and don`t forget to sign off with your own name).
    It might seem a bit unfair that I “outed” Mr Pearson on this site, so to enable him to put his views, maybe we could have a discussion topic next, on how the Parish Council Contractors, Mr Kavanah and Mr Pearson perform at Parish Council meetings.

    S Thornton

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  3. Dave Bucklow says:

    I have noticed the usual moaners and whingers posting their uninformed ‘expert’ opinions about APC finances but not none of them has offered any positive solutions or answers.
    Any damn fool can moan.

    Mr.Colman has posted pertinent facts which are ‘conveniently’ (?) not mentioned or are ignored by miss f sales, oddfellow and David. Their posts display a staggering lack of knowledge and information ; They imagine certain events have taken place, the information they think they understand is second hand, they do not attend parish council meetings and they do not read the minutes published on the parish council website.
    Or they were off sick the day the day their schools did sums.
    oddfellow wrote “I personally look forward to seeing a full election and a end to this”
    Another silly comment from someone who does not pay attention.The next parish elections are in 2020, you’ll have to wait until then (very) oddfellow.
    They’re probably upset because I’ve ‘named and shamed’ them. Diddums.

    I openly challenge these three persons to write and post a simple budget plan for APC-10 bullet points will do-then we will all see how numerate they are and what their financial plans will mean for the residents of Anston. (All the information they require is on APC’s website)

    Otherwise I suggest they stay away from their keyboards, they’re an embarrassment to Anston.

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  4. whistle blower says:

    The best budget s are always tied to the best spending plans ie budget plan s must tie performance justify to request s for increased budget if budget money is granted ie to additional staff then the it must show by year end that money spent on the item as improved work or services in real world terms approve budget proposals that are able to show balance between financing spending and performance in an personal opinion anston maybe a little over staffed for its income

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    • Mr Mick Colman says:

      This is just a load of crap by Mrs f s oddwistle. What request for increased budget?, it was reduced £10000. What performance levels are APC & its staff not reaching? What additional staff?, the former clerk has gone part time & the new Clerk is doing his work. What staff do you mean when saying APC is overstaffed? who should be sacked & who will do the work? Answer these questions or your credibility (regardless of your numerous alias’) is shot to pieces. A load of absolute crap matey.

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  5. Mr Mick Colman says:

    The subject of this blog is the budget 2016/17 however several different topics have been raised by the usual person who is tireless in his efforts to discredit the Independent members of this current Council. One of his rants is about the number of Councillor resignations which is a total of four since I joined the Council in April last year. I am one of those four and although I cannot speak for the other three I feel I can say that all four were for different reasons and my reasons were as below which is a word for word copy of my resignation letter.
    Dear Chairman,
    It is with regret that I would like to tender my resignation from Anston Parish Council with immediate effect.
    My reasons for this action are threefold.
    1) My health continues to be on a bit of a knife edge and of course I do not want anything to tip it the wrong way.
    2) My hearing difficulties continue to worsen and I have been experiencing recurring embarrassment by missing some important points at meetings.
    3) Personal reasons, I have pressing matters to deal with at home and within my family which have been neglected since joining the Council. I need time to deal with this.
    I have enjoyed a lot of my experiences since becoming a Councillor even if sometimes they were exasperating.
    I have met some nice, pleasant people and perhaps some not so nice, I wish all of them and Anston Parish Council all the best and good luck with their endeavours in the future.

    Yours sincerely.

    Mr Mick Colman.
    31 July 2016.

    So I say to David, don’t worry too much about these resignations as they were not for the reasons that you would no doubt like other readers to believe.
    I also wish to comment about other points and accusations raised in replies to this blog but will do this in another post.

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  6. whistle blower says:

    Is it fare to assume that coucil tax if frozen year after year will require a bigger percentage rise at some point so is it prudent to allow a small rise to filter in over a longer period lessening the burden on home owners

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    • Watchman says:

      A valid and reasoned comment.
      The question is what is a ‘small rise’? 1.5% or 2% increase in the precept?
      A 2% increase in the precept (Anston Tax) on a Band ‘D’ property paying £1250 pa.Council Tax equals 48p per week however not all households pay the full rate of Council Tax.
      This is one of the questions APC councillors have to deal with in their budget discussions.

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    • Mr Mick Colman says:

      Why should anyone assume that your assumptions are correct whistle blower? Why not assume that the precept will be frozen for a few years then increases resumed as before and only if necessary? Your presumptions are pure guess work and scaremongering, once again to attack what some members of this Council are trying to do by showing them in a bad light. So no, it would not be fair (fare?) to accept your guesswork as true. You and your faux press gang are the biggest burden on homeowners, not the Independent Councillors.

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  7. miss f sales says:

    For one I don’t no who currently cuts quite a number of areas in anston second why is it I seem to be put in the same pot as contractor s simply because I voice opinions so here we go dinnington hanging baskets cost around 2k cllrs don’t go home in a huff as did Thornton and tawn not to forget colman try to spend money on training even cllr tawn thought was a ridiculous amount if all cllrs had gone 75k in in the bank with the village falling into a standard never seen before an the response to all this is attempting to make cheap pont scoreing a temp s on member s of the public outrageous conduct cllr now let’s see if you got the guts to post this

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  8. S Thornton says:

    My apologies for straying slightly of subject, but one of those that resigned, cited the abuse by the two Contractors ( Mr kavanah and Mr Pearson) that person was shocked by the verbal abuse being directed at Cllrs. Another cited bullying by a well known female from S Anston. Well noted by “insider”, that no positive feedback has been given, but then I was not expecting any from certain people who post on here.
    Positive feed back only please.
    ( so we will not get any replies then from “miss f sales).
    For starters, I would suggest reducing the number of flower baskets, simply reducing the number by say ten, from the “Wee Willie to Orchard Ave, (and the same number in S Anston), would save around £1,000. Secondly I think the Parish Council should identify ALL the land its maintaining for RMBC and hand it back, and the same should go for the private land we have been paying Mr Pearson to cut for the last few years. ( note “miss f sales” does not mention this, I wonder why ?.)
    More positive feed back please.

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  9. Insider. says:

    It is plainly obvious that most of the people who posted on this topic (excluding S.Thornton) have no ideas on how to prepare and monitor a budget which involves large sums of public money.
    The headline article asks for suggestions for APC to consider when preparing the 2016/2017 budget and so far there has been not one constructive or valid comment from the usual suspects.

    My perception is they are eager to criticise but do not and cannot understand the basics of simple finance,budgeting and cost control.
    The current members of APC are more open and honest than the previous administration. There are no more secret meetings and agreements before the council or finance sessions and more questions are put to the RFO in finance meetings than ever before which shows IMV councillors are conscious of their responsibilities for taxpayers money.

    If you don’t have anything sensible to say,don’t say anything.

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  10. David says:

    On the subject of the old library I understand it was this council that signed the lease there for are responsible for lost income all cllrs should attend budget meetings and be engaged in finding results that benefit the community in savings or spending I find it difficult to support apc as I have not seen any positive results and seems to have a high rate of cllrs resignation s wich is quite worrying

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    • Watchman says:

      It was this council that signed the lease but that was just a formality.The negotiations were at an advanced stage and APC could not withdraw the lease without a financial penalty.

      Three councillors have resigned mainly on the grounds of ill health. Three is a ‘high rate’?

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    • Watchman says:

      I notice you skipped the sentence about ex part time Cllr.Dalton refusing to sell the old Library, had you not done so you would not have made the crass comment about the new councillors ‘being responsible for lost income’.

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    • Mr Mick Colman says:

      What lost income are you talking about David? I suggest that you check the yearly accounts. There not only was no income from the old library but it cost the Council money for rates heating etc, yes even for the unused empty building. So contrary to your understanding this Councils signing of the lease has in fact saved money, your money. Get over it.

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  11. S Thornton says:

    Over the last few months I have watched this site and the content posted by “miss f sales” . Its time for an “outing”. I believe that “miss f sales” is actually the Parish Council Contractor Mr Kevin Pearson. I bet he will now come on here and have a go at me and then say its not him. Ask yourself why “miss f sales” will not reveal who they are.

    S Thornton

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  12. odd fellow says:

    So just to clarify did cllrs leave budget meetings on one or more occasions and why on such an important issue this action is unacceptable when parish funds and vital issues are being discussed Why do people on this site keep going on about the last administration or do they fear the return of the old guard apc is not as independent as one would think

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  13. S Thornton says:

    I bet that Miss f sales and odd fellow are both the same person, it could be that a Contractor is out and about again. Come on don`t be a coward, use your own name when posting on this site, that way people may read your comments without smirking.
    You were given a chance to put forward some clever suggestions, but failed miserably, you decided to revert to normal, and criticise without constructive ideas.

    S Thornton

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  14. David Caukwell says:

    Both of the previous comments completely miss the point about financial stewardship of public money.
    The Labour administration left a £14,000 deficit which would have meant another rise in the precept if the present council had not shown financial acumen and brought the parish council finances under control. I’d rather have my money controlled by people who know what they’re doing instead of entrusting it to economic illiterates.

    miss sales said ‘ the council like s saving money and forget s they need to maintain services’
    Which services have not been maintained? I have not noticed any deterioration in Anston.

    odd fellow said ‘not to mention old library on free rent’
    If he/she paid attention at parish council meetings he/she will know the agreement for a rent free period at the Old Library was agreed by the Labour controlled council. This was sometime after ex part time councillor Dalton made sure an offer of £140,000 to buy the building was voted down.

    How can ‘odd fellow’ justify his daft statement about “three men that never leave ther hut” (sic) unless A) he/she has nothing better to do than sit and watch them all day or
    B) He/she is more closely connected to APC than he/she will admit?

    When the article about a survey connected to fracking was published there were no critical comments even though IMV it is of vital importance to Anston and our ecology but when anything about the parish council is published the keyboard warriors suddenly wake up and post their usual incorrect comments without a shred of evidence to support them. I’m sure APC councillors don’t mind criticism-it goes with the territory-but criticism needs to be valid, justified and evidence based.
    What we have so far is whingeing.

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  15. odd fellow says:

    Complaining rmbc are keeping money back when you are saving 28 thousand a year really interesting you mention value for money 1fso 1Clark 1senor administration office and three men that never leave ther hut how is this value for money not to mention old library on free rent How much of the council tax gos on staffing costs from the last budget wot improvement as been made to any services as for joining up with other councils can’t see that happening with this track record I personally look forward to seeing a full election and a end to this

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    • Mr Mick Colman says:

      Mrs odd sales, RMBC are stealing £30,000 off you and I and every resident of Anston, what do you expect APC to do, jump through hoops shouting “yippee” ? The Councillors weren’t complaining because there’s no point when RMBC have rubber stamped the theft. What some of them were doing was trying to explain that savings have to be made in Anston’s budget to cover this and to allow for any projects to progress. Who said that £28000 a year was being saved? Stop manufacturing ammunition for your attacks by manipulating the words of the blog. Are you seriously suggesting that our Council does not require a Clerk, Finance officer, Office manager or Cleaner? Staffing costs are staffing costs, whoever runs the Council they will still be there. Your statement that the ground staff never leave their garden shed is simply outrageous, no the wonder you refuse to add your name to your posts. Finally you could have had an election last year if all of your Labour party cronies hadn’t walked out and abandoned Anston residents. The present Councillors including the ones who have recently resigned, stepped in and have done what they think is necessary, you should be grateful instead of constantly slagging them off. More elections? be careful what you wish for, you may get the last lot back. Then you will have something to gripe about.

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  16. miss f sales says:

    Well we can only hope that cllr s will discuss the budget in a proper manner unlike last year when some kept leaving the meeting because they can’t get ther own way very unprofessional as for saving 28 grand prove s the money as not been spent on the village as it should have save the money get nothing done I would also like to no what this council as actually achieved in the way off services to the community anston as fell into decline since this council came to power it would seem the council like s saving money and forget s they need to maintain services

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    • Mr Mick Colman says:

      As a former Councillor who attended and left the budget meetings early I dispute your statement that it was because I could not get my own way. The reason that I left the first meeting was because I wished to state my case for saving the Council approximately £10,000 by handing RMBC land back to RMBC. This saving would not have affected Anston residents services in any way. I was shouted down at the meeting and left in disgust. The second occasion was when, despite this being a full Council meeting a seconded proposal for a vote on handing back RMBC land to RMBC was refused by the Chairman. My opinion was that this refusal was illegal and I again left in disgust. In both of these cases this was my prerogative. At a future meeting this proposal (for handing back land to RMBC) was voted on and passed only to be objected to by Labour supporters who weren’t even at the original meeting. As for the £28,000, how do you know that it has not been used or is not earmarked for improvements to the village? What do you think has happened to the savings, stuffed under the Chairman’s mattress? Why don’t you stop embarrassing yourself and stop this unwarranted and totally unfounded attack on the Independent members of APC. By the way it matters not which alias you use as everyone knows by the same grammatical errors in your posts that you are the same person. You claim disability I dispute it. You are attempting to pull the wool over our eyes, and you are failing. Time to sign off for me , but I have said my piece. I just hope that the decent residents of Anston can see through you, as I can and also realise who the real caring Councillors are and those who only care about the Labour party and remember this in 2020. Oh and finally if you must come back on here pray tell us which parts of Anston has fell into decline in the 18 months since this Council has been in office. We are all ears.

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