Council allocates cash to justify reserves

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Archant

Ottery Town Council will set aside £80,000 for a sports pavilion and a neighbourhood plan in a bid to justify its hefty cash reserves.

A meeting of its finance committee revealed it holds more than recommended amount of cash in the bank, and to appease the auditor are setting aside money for capital projects.

Up to £60,000 could now be spent on building a pavilion on the council’s land at Strawberry Lane, after Mayor Glyn Dobson revealed there has been plenty of interest from local sports clubs to utilise it.

And another £20,000 was earmarked for creating a Neighbourhood Plan, after it was agreed at the last full council meeting to set up a working party to look into the matter.

The council’s treasurer Paul Lewis revealed it has reserves of just over £180,000, and said guidance is for town councils to hold between 25 and 100 per cent of their precept in reserves.

Ottery receives £137,000 from central government, meaning it holds nearly £50,000 more than is required.

The treasurer said it would be wise to allocate some of the reserves for projects, saying the council would need to justify having more than 100 per cent of the precept in reserve to its auditor.

Mr Lewis added: “The council is not here to accumulate cash it is here to run the town.”

But he reminded councillors any recommendations the committee made would have to be ratified by full council, and even then the money does not have to be spent.

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