Council urged to spend some of cash held in reserves

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Bury St Edmunds Town Council has double what it is required to have in financial reserves.

It should have a minimum of £60,000 but actually has £120,000.

And David Nettleton, county and borough councillor, has ideas for what it should be spending its surplus on.

At last Wednesday’s annual town meeting, he said the council should pay for poll cards to inform residents of future by-elections and should put some funds towards addressing road safety issues in Glastonbury Road.

He asked: “Has the council got a plan to spend some of that money because people have spent that on their Council Tax?”

“I’m a bit uneasy at the fact it’s £120,000 and it’s rising,” he added.

Chairman Bob Cockle said the council had decided not to issue poll cards because they cost in the region of £600-£800 and that road safety issues were a matter for Suffolk County Council.

He said the council felt its reserves were necessary because of the uncertain economical climate and previous ‘interference’ from Government.

He said: “David’s got a valid point but, as anyone in our line of work knows, you never know what’s going to happen.”

Town clerk Julia Dyball said the council was within guidelines set by the National Association of Local Councils and external auditors that say it should maintain reserves of not less than six months average expenditure and, unless there are earmarked reserves, not more than 12 months.