Sandgate Parish Council Budget and Precept 2021-22

On January 19th, Sandgate Parish Council unanimously agreed its budget for 2021/22. As the minutes from the Parish Council meeting show:

“The draft budget and proposed Precept of £80,625 were considered following the recommendation of Resources Committee. The budget proposed a 2% increase (on Band D Council Tax, an increase of 84p a year on the current £41.81), but with a lower tax base than last year: it was therefore proposed that General Reserves be used to meet a budgeted total income shortfall of £1,667. Following discussion the draft budget and Precept of £80,625 were approved.”

Parish Council Chairman Tim Prater spoke at the meeting on the budget and the proposed increase, and how it affects Sandgate Parish Council’s Council Tax. He said:

“The consideration of our annual budget isn’t a quick process, or done in one night. The proposals put forward tonight have already been through Resources committee twice. Requests for funding have been put forward by our committees, and we’ve carefully looked at this years expenditure and made realistic assessments of how that then applies to next years budget.

“We are supporting the running costs (including electric) of around £4,000 a year for the new CCTV system, but I think that annually that will prove to be a good investment, making local residents feel more secure and hopefully helping us reduce the thousands we have had to spend this year on repairing vandalism.

“We are maintaining our spending on maintaining our parks and open spaces, funding Christmas lights, summer planting, hanging baskets and more: the “quality of life” spending that make a real difference to Sandgate.

“We’re also continuing to manage the library and all other services: we have one of only two libraries in the district offering library services at all at the moment. I would like to publicly thank Gaye and the library staff and volunteers that are making that happen.

“However, it has been a really hard year financially for many. That has fed through into the number of houses locally actually paying full council tax, which in itself cuts our income.

“We’ve done everything we can to limit the increase in Council Tax, but to balance to books we are seeking a 2% increase in the Band D Council Tax rate.

“A Band D property is Sandgate this year (2020-21) paid £1963.60 Council Tax. Of that:

  • £41.81 is set by Sandgate Parish Council;
  • £33.93 goes to the Folkestone Parks and Pleasure Grounds Charity;
  • £79.29 is for Kent Fire and Rescue;
  • £203.15 for the Police and Crime Commissioner;
  • £268.38 goes to Folkestone & Hythe District Council;
  • £1351.26 goes to Kent County Council.

The Sandgate Parish Council rise adds 2% just to our element of that. That’s 84p a year on our £41.81 for a Band D household. Just 1.6p per week.

“By way of comparison:

  • Kent County Council have agreed a 5% increase in their element of Council Tax for next year. That’s an extra £67.50 a year, or £1.30 a week.
  • The Police and Crime Commissioner has agreed a 7% rise in their element of Council Tax (an extra £14 a year).
  • It looks likely Folkestone and Hythe District Council will seek 2% on their Council Tax (£5.36 a year).

“I make no judgment on those rises here, but point out that the impact is much higher.

“I’d also like to mention that there is a popular belief that we pay more Council Tax in Sandgate than elsewhere in the district. It’s not true. In 2020 Council Tax was higher than Sandgate’s in Folkestone, Hawkinge & New Romney.

“Finally, many thanks to our excellent RFO Simon Horton for his many hours of getting this budget together, and to Adrian Watts and the Resources committee for the number of times they have been through the options on this.”