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.