Nettleham Parish Council met on the evening of Wednesday, 28th October 2009 in the Small Hall at the Old School, Mill Hill, Nettleham to discuss and agree a budget for the financial year 2010/11. In attendance were Deputy Chairman, Cllr. Mrs. J. Clayton (in the chair), Cllr. Mrs. V. Darbyshire, Cllr. J. Downs, Cllr. J. Evans, Cllr. J. Hill, Cllr. M. Leaning, Cllr. G. McNeill and Cllr. M. Spencer. Cllr. M. Davidson, Cllr. A. Frith, Cllr. R. Sellers and Chairman, Cllr. T. Williams were all absent. Mr. R. Buttery, the Parish Council's Hon. Financial Adviser and Mrs. J. Finn, the Clerk (taking minutes) were in attendance, together with Mr. I. Gerrard, the Facilities Manager and two members of the public.
A proposed budget is submitted to councillors from the Parish Office with input from the Property Committee and other sources.
The Parish Council's budget covers areas as diverse as administration, the cost of elections, donations to local organisations, income from bequests to the parish, performing rights licences, management of village facilities such as the Old School, the burial ground & Mulsanne Park, tree planting & maintenance, allotments, village beautification - such as floral displays, grass cutting and the beck - village benches, maintenance of the church clock, play equipment & other capital investment projects and field paths.
Under he Local Government Act 1972 s.150 the Parish Council raises most of its income through a separate chargeable levy on the parish, known as the precept, issued to the council responsible for collection of local government taxes, locally that falls to West Lindsey District Council. A parish council is a local precepting authority and may issue a precept each financial year. It is therefore vitally important for councils to prepare accurate budgets. To this end, in recent years, Nettleham Parish Council have engaged the service of a Financial Advisor and are rigorous in having quarterly Financial Monitoring Reports presented. Other income is made through service charges, rents and grants for services undertaken by the Parish Council on behalf of other authorities.
On the whole the budget represented a 'steady as she goes' approach. Most budget cost codes being carried forward with some minor adjustments. The main changes centred on increased staff costs, primarily due to an ever increasing work load on the Council's officers. At the current stage the Parish Council has agreed to finance cost of the burial ground from charges to service users. This has come about due to the loss of the burial ground subsidy from West Lindsey District Council. The Council has also decided that a security guard will be provided at Mulsanne Park for occasional sweeps of the site to try and reduce incidents of vandalism. The Parish Council also agreed to put aside £3,500 into the major projects reserve, £1,000 for the Old School, £4,500 for Mulsanne Park and £3,000 for Bill Bailey's Memorial Field. So despite of the problems of the recession, reduced revenue streams from West Lindsey District Council (loss of the Burial Ground Subsidy and a reduction in the Per Capita Subsidy) the Parish Council nevertheless resolved to freeze the precept level. Whilst still substantially increasing capital investment by £4,500 and increasing and improving on services delivered. None of this can be made possible without the dedication shown by the members of the council and the staff who work particularly hard to deliver high quality service.