How much Bleadon money will the council give itself this time

Posted on 11th December, 2022



Previously the council gave itself a £64K budget, with an 8% rise in Bleadon resident taxes/precept.


UPDATE 12DEC22 - The proposed Budget Version 1 was not accepted by full council, further meetings are required before deciding Bleadon's taxes/precept in January 2023.


UPDATE 12DEC22 - This morning the clerk has sent BOB budget information that indicates a proposed increase of 36%, i.e. from £64K to £87K. The 2023-24 Overview Budget and Expenditure to 30SEP22 has been released, but no breakdown information as to the 2023-24 expenditure, that has led to this 36% increase, has yet been released.NB: It appears that £70K of the £64K budget for this year has been spent?


Why have the agreed budget values changed e.g. Budget for 2022-23 was agreed at £64,158 now recorded as £65,558 on the new proposal? Staff £25,400 is now recorded as £26,300 for 2022-23 on the new proposal, with £27,200 recorded for 2023-24?


Tomorrow, Monday 12 December, councillors will decide how much budget to give itself for next year (Agenda Min 35(8).7.1).


The last budget of £64K (Min 349.3) allocated:

  • 40% Clerk - £25.5K - Salary, Training & Travel (not incl Homeworking Allowance or Subscriptions)
  • 20% Admin - £13K - split into 37% 'independent' Newsletter, 20% Insurance, 13% IT, 9% Subscriptions 
  • 40% Open Spaces - £25.5K - split into 28% Village Ranger, 20% 'independent' Bleadon in Bloom, 16% Grass Cutting & 16% Toilet Maintenance.
  • Any Special Projects appear to be taken from Financial Reserves, e.g. Playground and Jubilee, 

BOB asked for a copy of the budget papers to be discussed tomorrow, the clerk (who is also the council's Responsible Financial Officer) replied on Thursday, "... at this moment in time I am unable to send you a copy of the final recommended paper as I am not in receipt of same."


The clerk also indicated that not all councillors attended the closed, undocumented Finance Working Group. How much time does full council spend reviewing and creating budgets? What will the budget and associated precept be this time?


It is interesting to note again that BPC didn't post its Agenda on the on its website until Wednesday, and it wasn't on the noticeboards on Thursday. This is despite councillors discussing getting the Agenda and Minutes out to residents earlier, although this wasn't minuted! (NOV 22 AUDIO Extract HERE


It seems as though councillors don't want residents to engage in their democratic processes.


NB: Agenda should be posted 3 clear days before a meeting Local Government Act 1972 Part II 10.2.

The Agenda & Minutes are usually posted on the BPC website on Mondays, and on the noticeboards on Tuesdays. The clerk's current "... core daily working hours are Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday 09.00 am – 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm". The Village Ranger, who posts the Agenda & Minutes as sent to him via the clerk, works Tuesdays and Fridays. It seems that Saturdays in this instance are being considered as a clear day, although the clerk said that "...there's no clear direction as to whether you can use a Saturday or not". 



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