FTC budget balancing act
Folkestone Town Council has a Labour majority group which works responsibly to agree priorities for our community and to provide services which are good value and promote a strong sense of community.
Under the present government, public service cuts have brought immense pressure to bear on everyone, with the CoVid pandemic adding further strain to familiies, personal finances and well-being
The cuts to police, youth services, education and the strain on our NHS are all obvious – and the County Council and District Council are increasing their share of Council tax – which is the largest chunk of these bills.
The Labour Group have agreed a very modest increase in their precept – council tax charges- to fund a budget which will sustain key community activities which the Town Council is responsible for.
As last year, The Council will be using reserves again to keep this to a minimum.
The statement below was issued after the Town Council approved the precept for 2022-23 on 13th January.
If you have any comments or questions, please do get in touch.
14th January 2022
Statement by Folkestone Town Council Labour group
Setting the budget: a balance between providing services and keeping costs down
“As fellow citizens of this town we understand the impact of the pandemic on people’s livelihoods, finances and mental health in Folkestone.
Last year your majority Labour-run Town Council chose to keep the precept rise – which pays for the Town Council’s work – to an absolute minimum. We used reserves and made savings where possible.
In real – cash – terms last year the annual precept was £61.67, just over £1 per week. The precept paid is linked to council tax bands and reduced according to your circumstances. An individual living in a Band A area had to pay £40.30 in total last year. Those on certain benefits do not have to pay at all.
We believe in balancing services, social conscience and financial prudency.
Stagnant wages, job losses and redundancies due to the pandemic, increased fuel poverty and a projected reduction in the standard of living mean that many of us are feeling the pinch.
That’s why we have worked this year to set a low precept as far as possible – but we also know that to be an effective and successful council we must ensure we budget responsibly to sustain our reserves and maintain a high standard of services for the inhabitants of Folkestone.
This year we are increasing the precept overall by 3%, which will add a small amount to Council Tax bills – a few pence per week in fact. Again, we are meeting part of the cost from reserves.
We believe the Town Council offers our community good value for money.
In the last year we have taken over management of a several play parks from the District Council.
We have budgeted to start replacing worn and outdated equipment found in some of these parks. We’re buying inclusive playground furniture so that everyone in the community can be catered for.
We will continue to operate the Museum and provide grants to many amazing community projects, showing our pride in Folkestone.
With your help and support we shall continue to use the money you entrust to us to provide services for everyone in our community.“
The Council Meeting agenda can be found by clicking on this link
The statement above can be downloaded with the link below….