Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Response to Conservative Cllr John Taylor's misleading statement on Kirkburton Parish Council finances

Councillor John Taylor has made a number of factually incorrect statements regarding Kirkburton Parish Council’s finances.

He states that the Council reserves should be 25% of the Annual precept (the amount the Parish raises from the Council Tax payer each year) . In fact it should be 25% of the planned expenditure. This is an important difference as it is up to the Parish each year to decide how much it will or will not spend. Councillor Taylor correctly notes that Parish Council reserves were reduced but fails to acknowledge that these reserves were approved by an Independent Auditor of the Parish Council finances. £4k of that reduction was to cover the costs of improvements to Kirkburton Library as part of the previous administrations plans to save the service for local people and as such is a proper use of reserves. Currently Parish reserves are expected to be £31,384 well within the tolerance of expected expenditure. Before Councillor Taylor says that  this is down to the cuts he has introduced these only account for £2k of savings to date.  Cllr Taylor also states that the reduction in the Environment Budget was  about a supposed financial crisis. The reality is that this money was re- allocated to a project to install defibrillators across the Parish. It wasn’t used to fill some mythical hole in the Parish Council’s budget.

Cllr Taylor keeps referring to the  budgets being agreed by the previous Green Party Administration. The fact is that no Parish Councillors voted against it including the 2 Conservative Parish Councillors present who actually voted in favour. In reality Cllr Taylor in my opinion does not really have concern for the Community or the Parish Council in mind here. This is all about the Conservatives desire to discredit the Green Party in advance of next May’s Local Elections.

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