Minera Community Council’s financial year runs from 1 April until 31 March, and it is therefore at this time of year – in the run-up to Christmas – that we set out our budget for the next financial year. We therefore examined the forecast outcome for the current year alongside the money we have in reserve and the known inflationary pressures which we will have to deal with when we met for a Projects Meeting on 1 December.
Over the last three years we have managed to accomplish our plans with no effective increase on the cost burden which we place on the Council Tax payers of our communities, indeed between 2020 and 2021 we managed to make a small reduction in the funding request (known as the ‘precept’) which we submit to Wrexham Council each January.
This year, sadly we are no longer able to maintain our service obligations within the same level of expenditure, and need to budget for some unavoidable increases. Our current energy contract will expire during the 2023/34 financial year, leading to higher electricity charges for our streetlights, and the cost of the school crossing patrol will have to rise as the pay settlement which drives that cost has followed the headline rate of inflation, which is currently in double figures. We also expect inflationary increases in our other personnel costs, and are braced for a significant uplift in the cost of insurance, together with a need to start reserving money for the eventual upgrade of our LED lights when they reach the end of their expected life in around 8 to 10 years.
To offset as much of this as we can we will use our existing reserve funds to enable us to sustain the Youth Club now that it has been re-launched in Minera, and will apply for grants to help with costs such as renovating the war memorial shelter. We have used a substantial amount of our reserves – exactly as we planned to – this year in order to renovate the Gwynfryn play area and to reinstate the New Brighton phone box, as well as begin the roll-out of defibrillators to our various communities. We are pleased to have delivered these improvements without the use of additional Council Tax, but unavoidably our reserves will now need to recover for a few years before projects on this scale can be initiated again, at least from our own resources.
We will publish the details of our budget on this website in January when the final numbers are submitted to Wrexham Council, but as things stand we will be requesting a precept of £42,368, compared to £37,744 this year.
I will be happy to answer any residents’ questions about our financial plans and performance at any time – please contact me via the details on this website.
Clerk, Minera CC