Sudbury Town council comes in £82,000 under budget

Sudbury town centre

Sudbury town centre - Credit: Archant

Sudbury Town Council is set to finish the financial year £82,000 under budget, which is down to “rigorous financial discipline” after a difficult period of uncertainty following the dismissal of the former town clerk last February.

At a meeting this week, finance committee chairman Oliver Forder said the council’s approved expenditure for the year was £598,000 but the actual spend was £516,000, representing a “14% saving of public money by the town council”.

Despite facing a cut of £24,000 from the Government precept support grant next year, the council agreed that there should be no increase in the rate of Band D council tax, which is expected to bring in £574,446.

Mr Forder said the authority was in effect charging the same but “getting less money from outside”.

He said: “This is a fantastic result for the council and has been achieved by rigorous financial discipline and a focus by all of us on what tangible things can be done for people of Sudbury.

“There has been a huge amount of work done to get us to this point. The council is committed to value for money and providing a high and excellent level of service to make Sudbury an great place in which to live.”

The authority’s general reserve has been increased to £73,000 in line with local government good practice and at the end of this year, they should have a new capital reserve of £15,000.

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Budget expenditure for next year is being reduced to £483,000 and at the end of the year, the council expects to have a capital reserve of £105,000.

Mr Forder added: “We have quite a few assets and don’t see any lessening of the current financial environment so it will be very difficult to raise the extra money in years to come.”

Jacqui Howells, 58, was appointed as the new town clerk last October replacing Sue Brotherwood who was sacked for gross misconduct relating to procedural irregularities after 20 years in the job.

When she took up the position, Mrs Howells said the council was looking to change some of its processes, to become more transparent and tighten up procedures.