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Watton budget set

PUBLISHED: 09:15 03 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:31 08 July 2010

WATTON Town Council has set an almost static budget for the next financial year after the town clerk gave councillors a swift lesson in frugal financial planning.

WATTON Town Council has set an almost static budget for the next financial year after the town clerk gave councillors a swift lesson in frugal financial planning.

The council's annual budget was agreed at its monthly meeting last Tuesday and is just £1,222 above last year's total.

The figure means the council's part the precept for the average band D property will be £62.84, just 49 pence up on the pervious year.

It was the first time in several years that the budget had been drawn up by councillors in committee rather than being done by the town clerk and at the start of debate on the issue several members raised concerns about the increase in cost.

Budget suggestions included increasing the mayor's allowance by more than 100pc, from £400 to £1,000 and setting aside £2,100 for the maintenance of civic regalia and the purchase of badges for past chairmen.

But in a explanation lasting several minutes the town clerk, Jacqui Seal, made suggestions as to where savings could be made.

These included reducing the amount budgeted for the mayor's allowance to £500, bringing down the amount for the maintenance of civic regalia by £1,600 to £500 and using money invested in a interest earning bond to pay for maintenance of the town's public toilets, as had always been intended, rather than expending capital.

The total saving from her suggestions equated to £10,600.

At the end of the discussion Alf Harvey praised the clerk.

He said: “I think that now I am going to go home happier.”

Barbra Anderson said: “We will virtually have a standstill budget and I think that remarkable in view of the fact we are doing more things.

“We have £13,000 worth of things in here we have not had to budget for before.”

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