On Thursday 17th January, Labour controlled Kidsgrove Town Council voted on its annual budget for 2013/14. The council once again took the decision to freeze the precept to protect family finances in the Kidsgrove area. Member’s recognised people in Kidsgrove were struggling in one of the country’s worst financial times in history and that it would be wrong to implement any increases. The council achieved this freeze by acting responsibly with public money and saving in the good times. The Town Council precept has now been frozen for 4 years in a row. It is also confirmed that services will remain exactly the same and the council has not had to make any redundancies.
I can also reveal that Kidsgrove Town Council has taken the unprecedented step to pay back £89,000 of a loan that was taken out by the previous Lib Dem administration. The £290,000 loan was sought from Newcastle Borough Council in 2007/8 to make extensive repairs to the Kidsgrove Victoria Hall. Whilst the Council understands savings need to be made we are also aware interest rates are very low at present and it is recognised we should pay off Kidsgroves debts whilst we can. This will ultimately lead to greater prosperity for the people of our town and is seen as a very popular move giving the council greater flexibility with its finances in the future.
The Town Council has also started its next phase of a restructuring and modernising programme to give better customer service to the residents of Kidsgrove. This will include an office move with a better reception area for ease of access and also making our facilities disabled friendly. A fund has also been set aside to further improve the Victoria Hall and make it more attractive for hire. This will also include work on the front gardens of the Victoria Hall. Our new website will soon be ready to go live thanks to the website committee.
Deputy Mayor of Kidsgrove
Councillor Kyle Robinson