Petersfield Town Council confirmed at its Council meeting on 20th January the budget for the 2022/23 financial year and the level of Council Tax it will be setting.
Councillors recognised that much uncertainty still exists as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic both within the community and the local economy. For these reasons it is very difficult to accurately predict the levels of income the Council will receive from its normal and regular activities, so a cautious approach has been taken in particular with the levels of income expected from the hires of the Festival Hall. In addition, the Council wishes to continue to maintain and enhance the assets that it manages and operates on behalf of the community, investing in them to improve them as well as taking further steps to reduce its carbon footprint in the face of the ongoing issues surrounding climate change.
In order to meet these challenges the Council has increased the level of Council Tax it takes by just over £30,000 to £918,508, representing an increase of £5.24 per year for a Band D property in the town (3.4%). In addition, the Council is withdrawing a further £200,000 from the investments it has made as a result of selling the land at Penns Field for development a few years ago. The principle activities the council will be seeking to undertake within the next 12 months as a result of setting this budget are:
- Following on from the recent extensive public consultation, the Council will be progressing to RIBA Stage 4 for the refurbishment of the Festival & Town Hall
- Replace the artificial grass safety surfacing in the Heath toddler play area that is wearing out after 10 years of intensive use
- Start to explore means of erosion control on the Heath around the play area and Plump Duck
- Extend the Council Chamber in the Town Hall to increase its safety capacity particularly in these current Covid-19 times as well as making it a far more usable community space and room for a wider variety of activities and events as was called for in the recent consultation on the Festival Hall refurbishment
- Further provision to enhance the sports pitches at Penns Field
- Start to complete items contained within the recently completed Climate Action Plan to reduce the level of carbon emissions produced by the council
- Run a Green (ECO) Fair in conjunction with PeCAN (Petersfield Climate Action Network)
- Provision of a sum to implement items from within the Local Cycling Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) produced by EHDC by working with others to attract further investment to delivering the outcomes from the LCWIP
- Refurbish the aging kitchens in both The Avenue Pavilion and Love Lane Pavilion