Stratton Parish could cut their precept tax by £100,000..
At the start of the month I received a letter from Stratton Parish Councillor John Foley which he copied to the editor of the local paper. Mr Foley is Chairman of the Stratton Parish Finance Committee, and my reply includes a suggestion to reduce the precept tax by £100,000 with no change in services and no threat to the Leisure. The simple idea of only collecting from local residents what is spent.
Below is an open letter and an image of the Income & Expenditure statement for 2010/11 which I have copied from one of their Committee papers.
Dear Parish Councillor Foley,
Thank you for your letter dated 1st June.
The Coleview and Nythe campaign is to support a Community governance review, and you have picked up on one aspect, the differing levels of Parish Precept tax between Stratton Parish and Covingham Parish.
I was elected by the residents of Coleview, Covingham and Nythe to represent them on Swindon Borough Council to the best of my abilities. In my capacity as a Borough Councillor, I would be more than happy to comment on any proposal from Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, or your Finance committee, which would help reduce the Parish Precept tax for local residents.
You have asked for my input on the 2012/13 budget process for Stratton Parish Council so…
As a starting point, I urge Stratton Parish Council to cut the Parish Precept tax by 14 per cent. This would save the 9500 households in Coleview, Nythe, Stratton and St Philip an average of £10.
Stratton Parish Councils own 2010/11 Income and Expenditure figures show that local residents paid £105,000 more than was needed. £852,000 was collected through the Parish Precept tax, but net expenditure was £739,000. This money should be returned to the pockets of local residents, and not stashed away in the Parish bank account.
The figures show that Stratton Parish Council can reduce the Parish tax collected from local residents by the equivalent of 14% with no changes occurring to any services, no job losses and I would highlight the £850,000+ that Stratton Parish Council holds in reserve funds.
This cut in the Stratton Parish Precept Tax would be welcomed by every resident who lives in the area. I hope you, and your Finance Committee, will support my suggestion and I look forward to receiving a positive response.
I see you have copied your letter to the editor of the Swindon Advertiser, and I welcome this opportunity to reply. I will also forward this letter to the other borough councillors in the area.
Councillor Dale Heenan