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Town council precept tops £400,000

(January 20, 2009)
WARMINSTER Town Council have voted to add another £54,000 to general reserves even though one councillor admitted they do not know how they are going to spend it at their budget setting meeting last night (Monday).
Instead the councillors concentrated on making sure it was a 'standstill' demand for their share of the council tax, writes Paul Macdonald.
They took to arguing whether to accept a cut to the grants budget to get to that position.
""We are lucky that we have nearly 200 charity groups," said Cllr. Keith Humphries. "I think it is quite wrong to cut the grants budget.
"It is not just a case of getting a cheque for £1,500. It is that they know they have the support of the town."
He said that the Transport and Environment budget which historically had been providing new bus shelters and a host of other improvements should be cut instead.
"The grants budget has never fully been used," argued Cllr. Paul Batchelor defending his report. "If you were to rob the capital fund that's another £5,000 which could be match funded. £10,000!"
"Admittedly, we do not have any projects," said Cllr. Batchelor who is the chairman of the Finance and Resources committee.
The town council are budgeting to have a general reserve which could reach £250,000 in the next financial year.
They will be raising over £400,000 from council tax payers when the bills start falling through letter boxes. (Wiltshire Council, The Fire Service and Police have to add their much larger demands)  
The town council will use over £164,000 running itself, boost the reserves (£54,000), subsidise car parking with £36,000, have £30,000 for grants to community groups, spend a net figure of £40,000 on cctv, and divide the rest of the money between its committees and working groups.

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