Precept 2020-2021 (Council Tax)

  Previous Year
2019/20
Outgoings
2020/21
Income
2020/21
Net
2020/21
 West Mersea  £  £ £ £ 
 Cultural and related services 150,425 185,634 27,942 157,692
 Environmental services 158,542 227,348 27,943 199,405
 Planning services 4,000 6,472 0 6,472
 Other services 15,515 13,649 0 13,649
 Grant and other income (24,441) 0 49,941 (49,941)
TOTAL 304,041 433,103 105,826 327,277

This Council's costs include:

Facilities and Assets (including Allotments, West Mersea Park, four Car Parks, four Public Toilets)
The Glebe sports fields and pavilions
Council Offices and Groundstaff depot
Personnel (five employees)
Cemeteries (Barfield Road, Firs Road and Feldy View Woodland, St Peter's and St Paul's Parish Churchyard)
Communications
Printing, Postage and Stationery
Rent and Rates
Repairs and Maintenance
Insurance, Subscriptions and Training
Overheads and Admin
West Mersea Neighbourhood Plan

As with the previous two financial years West Mersea Town Council has budgeted in 2020/21 to continue its programme of much needed improvements to its estate and facilities, whilst maintaining provision for such items as the introduction of Police Community Special Constables and, hopefully, an ANPR camera for the Strood.

This budgeted spend has led to a precept increase of £23,000 over the previous year, equivalent to just over 7%. Although this percentage appears high compared to RPI it is applied to a relatively low base figure which results in an increase to a Band D property of some £0.57 per month.

Carried forward from the 2019/20 budget is some £40,000 of unspent income which has been earmarked for specific projects in the 2020/21 budget. In addition parking charges in all four of our car parks have been increased which we anticipate will provide an income over expenditure of some £42,000, an increase of £15,000 over the 2019/20 budget. At the end of this financial year we anticipate strengthening our reserves by some £15,000 to help provide for future known (and unknown) costs.

Exceptional expenditure items in the forthcoming year are (a) the complete refurbishment of our Coast Road toilets (£75,000), (b) continued work on improving our tree stock and planting new trees/hedges (£12,000), (c) repairing the boardwalk (£10,000) and (d) contributing to the costs of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group (£5,000).

In addition to the planned expenditure in 2020/21 the Council is conscious of the need to future-proof its financial position by strengthening reserves in preparation for the possible introduction of Referendum Rules by HMG governing future precept increases (deferred for 2020/21), and to allow provision for increased costs from the potential devolution of certain services from Essex County Council to parishes. Failure by West Mersea Town Council to take appropriate action now would be irresponsible and inevitably jeopardise future services and the general well-being of its open spaces and facilities.

As always residents are most welcome to attend the 3 weekly Council meetings when questions may be asked during the public session. Agendas are posted on noticeboards and the Council website. The public are also welcome to attend the various committee meetings which are periodically announced.