Chapel council make significant cuts to freeze precept

Chapel St Leonards Parish Council has been forced to make significant budget cuts in order to freeze its precept for the next financial year.

Despite facing ‘significant financial pressures’ councillors agreed not to burden residents with an increase in recognition of the ‘economic situation’ which they face.

Council chairman Coun Patrick Naughton said: “Preparing the budget for the next financial year has been a very difficult exercise.

“The finance committee spent in excess of ten hours in meetings, pruning our expenditure as much as we felt able.”

But with increasing costs relating to the council’s lease on the village recreation field and the public toilets which it inherited from East Lindsey District Council last year, councillors have been foced to cut other areas of spending.

Coun Naughton said the village’s annual music festival ‘is no longer affordable in its current form’ but in recognition of its popularity among visitors and residents the council agreed to contribute £500 to the Carnival Club in the hope it could be incorporated in the Carnival Weekend.

Money set aside for replacing Christmas lights has also been reduced by £500 and a further £1,000 has been taken from its budget for the planned replacement of major assets such as the council’s truck.

And Coun Naughton has warned residents that the precepts may have to be increased in future years to cover escalating costs.

He said: “The council is every bit as affected by rising utility costs and repair bills as everyone else and it is probable that the precept will have to rise again in future years.

“Everyone has a part to play in minimising the community’s costs by ensuring that our publicly owned assets are properly looked after, waste is maintained and that we get the message across to everyone that vandalism will not be tolerated.”