Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Council pledge on services
7:00pm Thursday 14th February 2013 in News
CHARD Town Council has pledged to continue to provide value for money services for people after it approved its budget for the 2013-14 financial year.
Members set the budget with the emphasis on ensuring that the town council was able to provide the services the community expects from it, and to be a strong advocate for its people, community groups and businesses.
Town clerk Sarah Robson said members had acknowledged the challenging times facing the country and every effort had been made not to over-burden Chard’s taxpayers.
Council members felt it was regrettable that there should be an increase this year, but with changes imposed by the Government on council tax benefits, which have been passed down through the district councils’ budget setting process, this, sadly, was unavoidable if services are to be protected.
As reported in the News, the annual budget was set at £705,245 – an increase of about 5% on last year.
The precept of £530,854.00 remained unchanged, but a small increase to Band D council tax of about 8p per week will be seen as a result of changes to the tax base for Chard.
Mrs Robson said: “In these difficult times, experienced the length and breadth of the country, the town council’s primary focus has been to safeguard high-quality services which really matter to our residents, such as safe and well maintained children’s play areas, cemeteries, allotments, providing and maintaining open spaces, and markets.
“We must be in a position to play our part in the new Government Agenda of Localism and be able to respond to the needs of our residents.’’ The town council is committed to supporting locally based initiatives, and the Community Development Fund aims to encourage and work closely with organisations by financially supporting projects which benefit local residents.
This year, the council has budgeted for £10,000 which will be distributed to groups working in Chard.
Mrs Robson said the council would continue to work with the recently -appointed Town Team to drive forward key initiatives in the next 12 months and beyond to boost the local economy.