2022 Budget Explanation
How is the Town Council financed?
The Town Council budgets carefully each year to ensure it can deliver its services, provide improvements where needed and be realistic about its financial position and responsibilities over the coming year. When carrying out the budgeting process, the Council must consider the expenditures it must make, such as overheads (staff costs, building running costs etc) and maintenance costs, and the expenditure it wishes to undertake, for example towards the delivery of a project. This is then offset with the expected income for the coming year, for example through rents received, grounds maintenance revenue and external funding. Income and the use of reserves cover a percentage of the expenditure over the year but the remainder is met by the annual Precept.
The Parish Precept
The name given to the Council Tax which is collected for the Town Council is the ‘precept’. The Town Council calculates its budgetary requirement in January each year and issues a ‘demand’ (this is a legal term, it’s not an actual demand) to the Borough Council to collect the required amount of Council Tax from residents to raise the required budget.
How is the precept calculated?
In January each year, the Borough Council advises each Town and Parish Council what their ‘council tax base’ is. The council tax base is a figure that is calculated by taking the total number of properties in the area which are liable to pay Council tax and converting them to a number of ‘Band D’ equivalents. This is done using a formula which expresses each band in ninths. For example, a Band A property is 6/9 of a Band D, a Band D property is 9/9 and a band H property is 18/9.
Our Council Tax Base Figure
Silloth-on-Solway Town Council’s council tax base figure for the year 2021/22 is £835.38. This figure represents the total number of Band D equivalent properties in the Parish at the time the Council Tax Base was calculated in January 2021.
The Budget for the 2021/22 financial year was approved and adopted by the Town Council at its meeting on 11 January 2021. For 2021/22, the Town Council is raising a precept of £172,995, resulting in a charge on the council tax on a Band D property of £207.09 for the year which is a slight increase on the previous year. The precept for 2020/21 was £169,520, resulting in a charge on the council tax on a Band D property of £202.14 for the year.
The precept per Band D property was calculated as follows:
Budget Required ÷ Tax Base = Band D charge
i.e £172,995 ÷ 835.38 = £207.09.
|PARISH||Parish Precept||C Tax Base||Valuation Bands|
At the beginning of 2020, Allerdale Borough Council undertook a Community Governance Review which resulted in the redrawing of the parish boundary, so that all of the Lido Village properties are now within the Holme Low Parish Council area. This resulted in an increased parish charge for Silloth residents – from £202.14 for a band D property for 2020/21).
Services provided by the Town Council
Allotments: Silloth Town Council’s allotments are situated at the top of Eden Street, adjacent to Skiddaw Street and are available to rent by residents of Silloth for a nominal fee. Allotments are extremely popular and there is often a lengthy waiting list.
Grants: Silloth Town Council supports a lot of local groups and charitable organisations during the year. A lot of the support is in the form of free or reduced rental of Town Council facilities and assets. A number of organisations are given help in the form of free use of the Community Hall for meetings or the use of Town Council land to facilitate an event. The Town Council allows local voluntary event organisers free use of the Green. Assistance is also provided by allowing free use of the safety fencing which is delivered and collected by the grounds maintenance team. The Town Council also supports the Silloth Youth Club which is sited within the grounds of the Community Hall, for which no rent is charged, with the water and electricity bills covered by the Town Council. Unfortunately due to the pandemic the Community Hall has been closed to the public and most of the events on the Green were cancelled but the facilities will be there to welcome groups back when restrictions are lifted.
Public Open Spaces: The Town Council manage large areas of public open spaces. Silloth Green incorporates Harbour Green, a large area known simply as ‘the Green,’ and Skinburness Green which is one of the largest and longest village Greens in England. Silloth Green has achieved a Green Flag Award for the last eight years which recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces and is testament to the dedication and hard work of our parks staff and volunteers. The Town Council also own and maintain land at New Street and an area of land at West Silloth.
Playgrounds: Within our Open Spaces, the Town Council is responsible for the up-keep of the playground at Eden Street, the Woodland play area on the Green, the Water Splash Park, Pirate Ship play area and the BMX track. They are looked after by the Council’s grounds maintenance team and are regularly inspected to ensure they are clean and safe. An independent annual safety inspection is also carried out. An additional £10,000 has been included in 2021/22 budget to carry out any essential repairs to the play equipment and it is also hoped that funding can be sought from other sources for the replacement of play equipment.
Sports and Recreation: The Town Council is responsible for the maintenance of the Eden Street sports fields, the football changing rooms, the former squash court which is occupied by the Solway Fitness Centre and the tennis courts on Skinburness Road. The utility bills and business rates for the football changing rooms are paid for by the Town Council, including the electricity costs of the MUGA and footway lighting across the sports ground.
Public Conveniences: The Town Council is responsible for four sets of Public Conveniences on the Green and at Skinburness. Although we have had to reduce the number of toilets open to the public during the pandemic, our cleaning staff have been cleaning the facilities more often to ensure they are clean and safe to use. There will be a saving of over £4k each year due to no longer having to pay business rates on the public conveniences. LED lighting has also been installed to further reduce the running costs of the buildings.
Salaries and wages: Our largest expenditure is our staff who play an integral role in managing and maintaining our facilities, services and functions. The Council employs five members of staff – the Town Clerk, the Park Manager, a Park Supervisor and two part-time cleaners. £105K has been included in the budget to cover their salaries, including National Insurance contributions and pension contributions. During 2019/20, the decision was made to reduce the grounds maintenance team down to two men which has helped to reduce future costs.
Street Furniture: The Town Council owns and maintains benches, seats, bins and notice boards on the Green and other areas. The Council also provides the Victorian style lighting along the edge of the Green and along the footpath across the sports ground from West Silloth.
Silloth Community Hall: The administrative centre of the Town Council, the Community Hall provides an office for the Town Clerk and houses the Council meeting room. There are rooms and kitchen facilities available for use by individuals, local groups and organisations for meetings etc. The building has not been open to the public since the pandemic hit but will be there to welcome groups back when restrictions are lifted. Solar panels are to be installed following successful funding bids to the Hellrigg Community Fund and the Robin Rigg Community Fund. LED lighting is also to be installed to further reduce the running costs of the building.
Your Council Tax Bill
Cumbria County Council, The Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria, Allerdale Borough Council and your local Parish Council work out the cost of providing their services each year, which then determines how much your Council Tax bill will be. Allerdale Borough Council acts as a Tax Collector (billing authority) for all these authorities. Your Council Tax bill is based upon the value of your property.
Below is a link to a guide to Council Tax for the year April 2021 to March 2022. It explains how the money you pay contributes towards services delivered.