At a meeting last night, Prudhoe Town Council agreed the 2021/22 budget and precept demand. There remains a great deal of uncertainty in some areas with the continued threat and disruption caused by the pandemic, but budgets must be set.
Members agreed to a reduced figure in those areas where activity was unlikely but moved full steam ahead where plans can be realised, namely Highfield Park Skate Park.
The procurement process is well underway, and Prudhoe Town Council has committed the £180,000 budget required to achieve a modern, concrete skate park.
Unfortunately, it is with regret that members accept that Highfield Fest is unlikely to be held in June 2021 and as such the events budget has been reduced. Similarly, as in 2020, the Council has taken the decision not to host the Prudhoe in Bloom competition, which would usually be launched in the spring. In view of this staffing levels will not be increased and the Clerk will continue as sole employee.
Members agree with the public that coloured bunting on Front Street gives a feel-good factor throughout summer and remain committed to financing this from the events budget. It is hoped the Council can coincide the bunting being installed with the full reopening of Front Street.
In addition to supporting Front Street, Prudhoe Town Council consider that it would be appropriate to look at ways to include outlying businesses in any development initiatives. A figure of £5,000 was committed in environmental improvements. Spending aside, it was acknowledged that further discussion with the traders and organisations involved would be the priority.
The Council appreciate that many of the local community groups and charities, that we have traditionally supported with Grant Aid, are unable to plan at the moment. With this in mind Grant Aid will be launched later than usual, however, available funding remains comparatively the same (£54k in 20/21, £50k in 21/22).
In 2020/21 Prudhoe Town Council moved much of the unspent balances to Grant Aid, COVID-19 aid and the support of young people, reaching almost £80,000 in spending. In 2021/22, as well as the Grant Aid pot of £50,000, the Council has set aside £20,000 for youth inspired projects.
The 2021/22 Prudhoe Town Council budget is generally one of maintenance and continuity. The services provided under contract continue, alongside an asset management plan that aims to accumulate the funding needed to replace assets at the end of their lifespan. In 2021/22 we will replace more litter bins, like the smart new bins on Front Street, and all other assets have plans in place. There is no funding in the upcoming financial year for additional bus shelters or public seats, but a continued commitment to the proper maintenance of those we have.
Precept Requirement £389,215
Annual Cost to Band D Household (indicative) £114.54
Indicative Increase £ £5.61
Indicative Increase % 5%
If you have any questions about any aspect of the budget, please contact the Clerk.