Rasen Town council explains £13k loss in 2018/19

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Market Rasen’s finance chief has opened up about the council’s accounts - and why the town made a loss last year.

Speaking at the town’s annual meeting, finance and facilities committee chairman Coun Steve Bunney told residents the town council had made a loss of £13,034 in the 2018-19 financial year.

Stock image - Money

Stock image - Money

But Coun Bunney said he was not concerned by the figures.

He told the meeting: “The income and expenditure figures for 2018 - 2019 are well up on the previous year - income by £44,000 and expenditure by approximately £59,000.

“These large increases are a result of the purchase and installation of the £90,000 new skate facility in the Mill Road Playing Field.

“The council has not undertaken a project of this magnitude so the figures will reduce next year to be nearer the 2017 - 2018 levels.”

Coun Bunney said the skate park had been financed by fundraising - and Chestnut Homes agreed to pay £45,000 when its Caistor Road development is complete.

Coun Bunney explained: “As this payment has yet to be made MRTC internally borrowed the sum from its general reserves to allow the installation to be completed in July 2018.

“Over the year 2018 - 2019 the town council made an operating loss of £13,034.

“This deficit will be funded from the general reserves held by the council.

“The main reasons for the deficit are the loss of two regular bookings at the Festival Hall that saw income reduced by approximately £4,000, and expenditure of approximately £8,000 on general improvement works at the Old Police Station and other council assets which were financed from the general expenditure rather than ‘ear-marked’ reserves.

“Towards the end of the financial year MRTC received a grant of £5,000 towards the promotion of a touring Wolds Women exhibition.

“So far just over £50 of this amount has been spent. We have therefore transferred the unspent portion to the ear-marked reserves on the balance sheet.”

Coun Bunney said the council’s the council’s balance sheet showed £186,235 in reserves.

He said: “Of this, as mentioned previously, £45,000 is a debt that hopefully will be paid back in the next 12 month period.

“This means that the council has ready reserves of £141,235.

“Just over £81,000 in general reserves and £60,000 earmarked for various projects.

“Of the latter £3,500 is held for skate park improvements - hopefully this will be added to every year so that in 10 years time the facility, or something similar, can be replaced without being delayed whilst funds are raised - a criticism levelled at the council two years ago, which we have now addressed.

“The general reserve is required by the council for emergency funding - generally for a council of Market Rasen’s size it should be in the region of £45,000 - 
£60,000.

“This means that when the debt of £45,000 is repaid there will be between £60,000 and £80,000 available for a major project - like the long overdue roofing of the Festival Hall.”