MORETON-in-Marsh Town Council has revealed that its budget for the 2019/20 period not only secures full funding for all the assets, events and services in the town, but does so with a drop in the band D precept. Council Chairman, Cllr Eileen Viviani, said: "This prudent budget delivers everything the town needs while the reducing the tax burden on the average household - it really is a good news budget."

Councillors have spent many hours reviewing the maintenance requirements of the town, and discovered many items had not previously been accounted for. The St David's Church wall is maintained by the Town Council, for example, but no funding was being raised for its upkeep. The wall is now in such a state of disrepair that approximately £25,000 is needed in the new year to make the wall safe and restore its character.

"We have earmarked the funding for the church wall from reserves," Cllr Viviani explained, "as it would have been unfair to put such a hike into the precept. We have put in 'trickle funds' to fund other maintenance items." These trickle funds build up over time so when assets need maintenance funds are available. The practice follows advice from the Gloucestershire Association of Parish and Town Councils (GAPTC), ensuring that community assets are sensibly managed without large increases in the precept from one year to the next.

Despite these new trickle funds, the Band D household precept will actually fall in the 2019/20 period. "The tax cut for the average household may only be 10p," Cllr Viviani continued, "but it shows a commitment by the Town Council to manage the town properly without placing extra burden on our parishioners."

All of the ongoing costs are accounted for in the budget, as the extra housing built in the town recently has provided additional income.