Ashington Town Council pays for services and responsibilities through their budget. This is made up, in the main, from the precept paid by the council taxpayers of Ashington, in addition to a small income from allotments, the reclaim of VAT, grants and any balances from the previous year.
The Town Council begins the process of setting its budget in November, a draft is presented to a January budget meeting and at this time the budget is set, and the precept demand agreed. The precept demand is the money collected by Northumberland County Council, from the council taxpayers of Ashington, on behalf of Ashington Town Council. The Town Council receives this money in 2 instalments over the financial year.
As well as budgeted spending, the Town Council does hold money in a contingency heading, to cope in the event of the unknown. Additionally, it is the Council’s aim to increase its Asset Reserve Fund to ensure its assets are properly maintained and developed in the future.
Local Councils have few Statutory Duties but many Specific Powers. Statutory Duties set out what a council MUST do, mostly because of having the power to raise a precept or more specific legislative requirements as a public body. Legislation permits, but does not impose, a greater range of specific powers and allows local councils the freedom to choose the discretionary services they wish to exercise.
Ashington Town Council does not have a statutory duty to carry out many of the activities supported by its Budget (other than the ‘duty’ to provide allotments), however the Town Council does have the ‘power’ to spend money as detailed in the ‘Powers and Duties’ list decreed by Government. (I want to add a link to this document)
Every item of expenditure authorised by the council must be supported by a statutory power of expenditure. Each month a payment schedule is produced and presented to the Finance and General Services Committee which details the relevant power. The payment schedule for each month is available to view, along with the updated Budget & Expenditure.
If you have any questions about the financial governance of the council, our budget, or specific spending throughout the year, please feel free to contact us.