Cowbridge (Ancient Borough) with Llanblethian Town Council - 14th November 2017

This is the third of what it is hoped will be regular articles on the workings of Cowbridge with Llanblethian Town Council and its history.

All meetings of the Town Council are open to the public and are advertised on its notice boards and website Minutes of meetings are available on the website. As mentioned in the previous article, the Council is responsible for a number of assets in the town.

These include the Town Hall (a grade 2 star listed building), The Limes Cemetery, Holy Cross Churchyard, Twt Play Park, Southgate Park, Emm's cottage terraced gardens, Llanblethian Playing Field, the Willow Tree area in Piccadilly and the grass area at the ford, Factory Road.

The money necessary to maintain these assets comes from the Town Council’s share of the Council Tax, hire of the Town Hall facilities and the fees charged for the Limes Cemetery.

For this financial year 2017/18 the Cowbridge with Llanblethian Council Tax precept for a band D property is £59.82 per year which yields £152,302 in total. The total anticipated income for this financial year including room hire charges and other income is £186,000.

In terms of expenditure the biggest single cost, as with most organisations, is the cost of wages and salaries for the 4 staff. This consumes about half of the income. The second largest cost is maintaining the Town Council assets. Other smaller costs include insurance, grants to the local community and civic functions.

At the January Council meeting Councillors reviewed the level of Council Tax precept required for the next financial year starting on 1st April 2018. Unfortunately the Town Council is facing a number of increasing costs above the normal inflationary increases. The principal ones are the costs of maintaining the Town Hall and the play parks to a satisfactory standard. For example, as some of you may have noticed, the Town Hall clock is not keeping good time and has a hand missing. The repairs to this town feature alone will cost about £10,000. According to the inscription the clock was presented to the Town by The Right Rev Edward Coplestone, Bishop of Llandaff, in 1836 which makes it older than Big Ben!

The Town Council therefore, after a lot of debate and consideration, have decided to increase the precept to £65.80 per year for a band D property, an increase of 50p per month. This will raise an additional £16,277 and will allow the Town Council to prepare a balanced budget for the year 2018/19.