Rates and Finance|

The Commissioners have faced some very difficult challenges when setting their rate for 2024/25 at 351p.

Not only have they had to contend with the general inflationary increases and increased waste disposal charges the same as every other authority on the island, they also have to fund the additional loan charges for their new community centre, The Roundhouse.

The level of increase in this year’s rate hasn’t been helped by having to make provision to recover some of the deficit caused in the current financial year due to the very unfortunate delay in the completion of The Roundhouse. The delay meant having to pay the loan charges whilst receiving very little income from the centre to offset the charges.

Some of the increase in costs to the organisation have been driven by the actions of Central Government Departments over which we have no control. These actions have accentuated the problems causing loss of income and creating unplanned expenditure all of which has had to be reflected in the rate increase.

That will be dealt with in a later press release.

The Commissioners have also taken a very cautious approach to estimating the income from The Roundhouse in the next 12 months. With the building only part open for three weeks so far, and whilst recent activity and feedback has been incredibly positive, it was felt best to be prudent in their predictions.

In terms of the new community centre, the board feel that we have now weathered the storm, and when we get the new centre fully up and running, hopefully in April, it will become a fantastic benefit to the local community and the island in general.

Taking a wider view of our budget we have made use of the opportunity to save money and improve the service to the parish by bringing in house some of the former external contracts, such as office cleaning, litter collection and amenity management.

We have also budgeted, in conjunction with local residents, funds to appeal the planning application of Hartford Homes for the proposed Braddan Road site, which the board has consistently opposed.

As the Commissioners were acutely aware of the impact on the domestic ratepayer of this year’s increase they have decided to reduce the annual Waste Disposal Charge by £38 to £50 per property for this year. This has had the effect of a significant offset against the increase in the general rate for the domestic ratepayer.

Looking at the rates and waste charges together, the consequence will be that a three bedroom property in the parish will have a total increase in their payments of  £69 per annum, or £1.33p per week.

The Chairman, Andrew Jessopp said:

“The Commissioners have had to make some tough decisions but feel that it is a realistic budget taking into consideration the responsibilities the authority have and the additional services it can now provide to its ratepayers. The authority’s charges still remain lower than seven other authorities on the island and considerably less than it’s two largest neighbours.”

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