How the Town Council is funded
Local Councils are funded primarily from Council tax contributions made by Local Residents. They also at present receive a grant from Durham County Council under the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (which was implemented when Council Tax benefit was abolished in 2012 to make up the shortfall in revenue). The size of the grant from Durham County Council is reducing over time and must be expected to disappear completely in the future. The Town Council receives no contributions from Business Rates.
The Parish Precept
The name given to the Council tax which is collected for the Town Council is the ‘precept’. The Town Council calculates it’s budgetary requirement in January each year and issues a ‘demand’ (this is a legal term, it’s not an actual demand) to the County Council to collect the required amount of Council Tax from residents to raise the required budget.
How is the precept calculated?
In December each year, the County Council advises each Town and Parish Council what their ‘tax base’ is. The tax base is a gure that is calculated by taking the total number of properties in the area which are liable to pay Council tax and converting them to a number of ‘Band D’ equivalents. This is done using
a formula which expresses each band in ninths. For example,
a Band A property is 6/9 of a Band D, a Band D property is 9/9 and a band H property is 18/9.
Payments over £500
The law covering transparency in Local Government requires Councils to periodically publish details of payments over £500. The Town Council routinely publishes full details of all payments with its monthly Council papers, however to meet this requirement the payments over £500 are published separately here on a quarterly basis.
The Annual Governance and Accountability Return is to be completed by all smaller authorities where either the higher of gross income or gross expenditure exceeds £25,000 but did not exceed £6.5 million; and any other smaller authorise that either are unable to certify themselves as exempt or have requested a limited assurance review.