St Cleer PC budget 23/24 financial year
Published: 26 November 2022
St Cleer PC budget consideration for the 23/24 financial year
- PC facilities rental rates across all aspects of PC estate will rise by 30% for FY 23/24
The reason for this is that rental rates across the board have been way below the cost of delivery in each functional area for probably the past 10 years (likely even longer.)
All facilities are subsidised (at varying degrees) by the PC via the parish precept which is paid by all parish tax payers. Ergo - all parish tax payers are contributing towards the facilities used by specific user groups.
Some rental rates have not been adequately updated as far back as 2016 (allotments), possibly even earlier, with others having actually decreased by 50% in the same time frame (youth club.)
All rental rates were waived for the financial year 20/21 (Covid) and it seems that it was “forgotten” that the waiver hadn’t been reviewed for 21/22 so stayed in effect.
Even at the 2016/17/18 levels, the rental rates were significantly below that which it was costing to provide the facility.
The 2022 budget review for the 23/24 financial year set out to regularise the long term delta between rental rates and cost to provide facilities and as such, start to gradually move the burden of payment away from all parish tax payers (subsidy) towards those that are actually renting the facilities.
It was wholly recognised and keenly debated with strong argument, and counter argument, that any rise at the moment would be unpopular.
30% is considerably less than the rise required to aspire to cost neutrality but it was comprehensively discussed and debated as a reasonable measure which must be subject to a similar degree of critical scrutiny at the Nov 24 budget meeting for financial year 25/26 since it will likely take several years of moderate increase to achieve a cost neutral situation. This was the majority opinion of the parish council.
Adult FC pitch rental @ current rate (unchanged since Nov 2018) is £450 per annum
450 (current rental rate) / 100 = 4.5 x 30 (% increase) = 135 + 450 = new rental rate £585 pa
585 / 11 (number of players?) / 20 (number of games?) = an increase of £2.65 per player per game (less than ½ a pint of beer to put it another way)
Note - current cost to cut pitches is £3360 pa and combined rental income is £1175 pa (and that is without any consideration of pavilion heating, lighting, water, depreciation, admin and staff costs.) So it can easily be seen that rental income is about a ⅓ of part of the direct cost to the tax payer and that a staged increase over several years will be required to reach cost neutrality.
Large allotment rental @ current rate (unchanged since at least Nov 2016 and waived during Covid) is £35 per annum
35 (current rental rate) / 100 = 0.35 x 30 (% increase) = £10.5 + 35 = £45.50
£45.50 / 365 = £0.12p per day for an allotment and there is £5000 set aside in PC ‘reserves’ to cover any costs arising at the allotments.
- Earmarked Reserves at the start of FY 23/24 have been set at +/- £120k.
This money is provisionally allocated to known existing liabilities and future aspirational projects.
A few examples: Skatepark - £40k, Multi Use Games Area £11k, Sports pavilion £10k, play park £16.5k, allotments £5k etc etc.
- It is anticipated that +/- £40k of revenue expenditure will be carried forward from the current FY to the start of the next FY.
- The parish council will request £50k from Cornwall Council as the parish precept element of the council tax bill for the 23/24 FY.
This represents a +/- 28% reduction in parish precept in comparison to FY 22/23 (this differs slightly according to each house council tax banding)
This reduction could have been considerably higher but it was agreed that a +/- 28% reduction for FY 23/24 should be followed by the very strong potential for similar reductions phased over the next 3 - 5 years as the PC rebalances its financial management processes.
+/- 28% reduction in precept this year, followed by subsequent moderate reductions, presents a much more balanced fiscal approach rather than making a larger, one off reduction which would have been justifiable.
- The fundamental point to take away from this budget - especially as there have been a couple of queries from allotment renters, the +/- 28% council tax precept reduction represents a far greater net saving to the ENTIRE parish (including all facilities renters) than the 30% rental rate rise.
If you are a St Cleer resident and you pay council tax, this is a net REDUCTION of some considerable measure and it is anticipated that similar reductions may follow in subsequent years.