We had the Town meeting on Tuesday night. It was an interesting meeting. I gave a presentation on the state of affairs at the Town Council. I pointed out that FTC's spending plans for 2011-12, as left to us by the outgoing Town Council are unsustainable. We are budgeted to spend around £157k. The Council tax will bring in just under £115k. There is about £8k of other income potentially available - however around £34.4k will have to come from reserves.
Typically, and leaving aside spending of a capital nature, one would anticipate bringing in perhaps 5-10% more in income than one would plan to spend. In other words we are about £30k short in income from where we should be with spending plans like this. I have to say I opposed the meaningless reduction in the Council Tax last year which reduced the Council Tax on a Band D property by £2.77 (yes that is £2.77 in the year) but had the net effect of denying the Council £10,000 of income. I also showed how FTC compared with our neighbouring parish and town councils.
I also pointed out that FTC had the power to spend up to c£45k on general projects for the wellbeing of Frodsham and its community - however something less than 10% had been budgeted for and only 3% of that figure had actually been spent in 2010-11.
Interestingly some of the old guard ex and existing councillors carped from the side lines and questioned some of the comments made. I had the answers to all their questions - and the members of the community present I believe were very supportive of the approaches being suggested.