Oakham Town Proposing to increase Council Tax by 7.75% despite holding unlawful reserves of £240,000
I have written the following to Oakham Town Council
In its draft budget it is once again proposing to rip of the tax payers by demanding £15,000
for cemetery costs as it did this year and actually only paid Rutland County Council a third of
Dear Oakham Town Council
I have read the proposed draft budget and can not agree to a proposed council tax increase of 7.75%
I am shocked to read we have unexplained and possibly unlawful reserve of £240,000
In the past I have asked how much does the council hold in reserve? the former clerk has been recorded
as saying £20,000 or more recently a working reserve of £60,000
I feel as if I have been lied to on more than one occasion.
The law requires us to explain to the auditor why we have this large amount of reserves.
From NALC http://www.nalc.gov.uk/library/publications/803-governance-and-accounability-with-appendix/file
2.25 As councils have no legal powers to hold revenue reserves other than those for reasonable working capital needs or for specifically earmarked purposes, whenever a council’s year-end general reserve is significantly higher than the annual precept, an explanation should be provided to the auditor. 2.26 Earmarked reserves, which are set aside for specific purposes and for savings for future projects, should be realistic and approved by the council. However, the amount of general reserve should annually be risk assessed and approved by the council.
I am some what pleased I did not agree with last years budget.
There appears to have been some serious incompetence relating to the preparation of previous budgets.
The current budget 2016 - 2017 has many over spends and the chairman publicly blamed me for seeking
funding of £6500 for the Citizens Advice. The former Clerk said this funding came out of reserves, so it did not effect the budget in anyway.
I am astonished by the way the chairman continues to publicly conduct himself.
This also includes his recent emails in which he now claims a Grant Thornton Audit Report is not actually a Report ???
I am hoping the council will explain at next Wednesdays meeting, why we hold £240,000 revenue reserves which are not earmarked for reasonable working capital needs or for specifically earmarked purposes which we have no legal powers to do.
Martin Brookes Cllr OSE