Raising money through the precept is necessary for the following reasons:
- Cuts to grant funding
Unfortunately Kirklees Council has significantly reduced the grant it provides to the Town Council from over £7,000 to nothing at all for the 20/21 financial year and rising to a few hundred pounds in 21/22. The Town Council needs to replace this funding in order to protect the services it provides.
- Protecting Meltham Services
As Kirklees Council has cut services, the Town Council has and is stepping in to protect and provide for the residents of Meltham – e.g. contributing significantly to the provision of library services in Meltham and arranging for footpaths and public spaces to be cut back of vegetation and cleared of litter.
- Improving our area
The Council listened to what residents wanted to happen in Meltham when they undertook the recent Ask Meltham project and monies raised through the precept will go on putting in place actions to address the priorities that residents highlighted. The Council continues to set aside monies for improvements to the Town Centre to ensure Meltham is an attractive and safe place to live, work and visit. We continue to make significant grants to community groups in Meltham and are underway with an improvement scheme to further enhance Robert Ashton Memorial Park over the coming years.
The precept demand for 21/22 means that the precept of a Band D property will increase by 43 pence per year.
The Town Mayor, Councillor Kate Buchanan continues: ‘The Town Council receives no grant assistance from central government, and therefore must be financially self-supporting. In addition to the Council Tax precept the Town Council’s only other sources of income is a small amount from allotment rentals and investment income’.
Meltham Town Council’s service provision includes allotments, litter picking and environmental improvements, children’s play areas, park facilities and maintenance, playing fields and gardens, public toilets, and sports facilities. It subsidises the library to protect this provision in Meltham and makes substantial grants to Meltham organisations to support community led activities.