PRECEPT 2020-21

02 Mar 2020

PRECEPT 2020/21
Each year, in December, the Council reviews its financial position prior to setting its budget for the following financial year commencing 1st April. In simple terms we compare our anticipated income (from all sources other than the Council Tax precept, for example any contributions from its reserves, property rents etc), to our anticipated outgoings. The precept figure which we then request from Council Tax payers via Harrogate Council is the sum we need to make good the shortfall, and balance our income and expenditure.
Income: Property rents.
We let three areas of land (Laverton Quarry Highways Yard, The Woodyard on Kirkby Moor Road and The Pinfold in Kirkby Malzeard village) and we will receive a total income of £1,770 in 2020-21.
Income: Reserves.
We anticipate that at the end of the current financial year on March 31st 2020, we will have reserves of approximately £5000 being approx. 30% of our likely annual expenditure. We do not therefore consider it prudent to reduce our reserves any further, to ensure that we have adequate funds for contingencies.
These are our major items of expenditure:
  1. Clerk/administration costs - approximately £5000. Our Clerk is employed for only 8 hours per week at a nationally agreed rate of pay.
  2. Grass cutting – village verges - £2500. We have employed a new contractor for 2020 onwards at a reduced rate in order to keep costs down.
  3. Local Organisation Grants - up to £6000. Following a public consultation process in 2018 it was agreed that a sum of this size be used to support the Village Hall, Highside Playing Fields and other groups which form an integral part of this community.
  4. Children’s Play Area - £1500. The main reason for increasing the precept for 2020-21 is to meet the cost of looking after the Children’s Play Area in Kirkby Malzeard, which is now the responsibility of the Parish Council. As you will be aware Highside Playing Field Association has previously met the cost of maintaining this, but as it was struggling to find the funding from within its budget, it was agreed that the Council should take it over, rather than risk the Play Area having to close. We therefore took a long-term lease from HPFA from 01.10.2019 and have put in place a regular inspection programme and undertaken repairs to keep it to a safe and satisfactory standard. It is our intention to implement improvements during the coming year and whilst this will be largely grant funded, some contribution will be needed from the Council towards this.
It is therefore necessary to increase the Council Tax Precept this year by £1,250 from £14,000 to £15,250. In order to put this into perspective, the table below sets out how our precept has changed in recent years and where the increases have been used:
Year Precept Increase Sum towards General use Sum towards Local Organisation Grants
2020-21 £15,250 £1,250 £1,250 Nil
2019-20 £14,000 £2,000 Nil £2,000
2018-19 £12,000 £2,320 £495 £1,825
2017-18 £9,680 £438 £438 Nil
2016-17 £9,242 £318 £318 Nil
As you will see over the last four years, whilst the precept has increased by £4758, the majority of this has been used towards the Local Organisation grant fund and the increase this year is now essential to cover other outgoings. The Grant Fund pool amount will remain at £6000 until the sum is reviewed in December 2022 by the next Parish Council, when it sets the precept for 2023-24.
It is also important that the increase is looked at as part of the overall Council Tax bill which residents pay.  The sum payable for properties in Band E last year was £2331.81 of which only £35.10 came to the PC. This year the Parish Council element will increase to £37.51 for those with properties in Band E, which is less than 1.6% of the total amount collected.
If you would like more information the Parish Council Chair, Howard Mountain will be happy to discuss it further with you. You can contact him on or 01765 658838.
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