Autumn is the time when Councils begin to look ahead to the new financial year the following April and start to compile the budget which ultimately determines the amount of Precept we request from N.C.C. and thus the ‘Parish’ element of your Council Tax. Last year we were very aware of the poor financial climate with many redundancies and much unemployment as well as rising prices meaning that every household had to prune their expenses considerably. We therefore looked long and hard at our costs and made as many cutbacks as we could to keep the precept from rising and adding to everyone’s concerns. Indeed for the average household- Band D properties- the cost went down very slightly. We cannot promise to do the same this year but be assured we will try to keep costs down. However if we want our town to continue to flourish and improve for everyone, we must allow some money for grants to help local groups within the town and also to build up some funds towards any large project for the town which might come along. Members have yet to bring forward any ideas they may have for the town for next year; we all have wonderful hopes, dreams and ideas but unfortunately we have to be realistic and understand we cannot always realise them due to costs as there is very little external financial help currently available.