Following our budget consultation, announced in the November/December edition of the Carnforth Express and on our website Carnforth Town Council set its budget on 17th January for the financial year 1st April 2024 to 31st March 2025 – details of this and the level of Council Tax required were subsequently set out in the January/February edition of the Carnforth Express.  All editions of the Carnforth Express are available here:

The budget process began in October 2023 when a comprehensive list of the Town Council’s fixed costs, spending priorities and projects was compiled and adjustments were made for likely price increases and inflation in 2024.  The discussions that followed took full account not only of essential expenditure (staff salaries, building energy costs and insurance) but also discretionary spending, such as our popular annual events and income from building hire charges.

Our deliberations also required that consideration be given to the future refurbishment and maintenance of our two public halls – Carnforth Civic Hall and Crag Bank Village Hall – both of which need their old and inefficient heating systems replaced to reduce costs and carbon footprint, as well as other improvements to safeguard these buildings for generations to come.

The Town Council’s budget (£102,000 this year) is tiny by comparison with those of Lancaster City Council (c.£20 million) and Lancashire County Council (c.£1 billion), and while we don’t provide anywhere near the range of services these much bigger authorities provide, we don’t have the scale of financial reserves they possess and can call on should an emergency arise.   So, while in percentage terms, the rise for Lancaster City and Lancashire County Council’s may appear smaller than ours, please remember the sizeable difference in the amounts of money they will be seeking from you.

Unlike district and county councils, parish/town councils receive no direct funding from central government, relying solely on what residents pay and income from the services the Town Council provides.  In short, the Town Council’s budget provides enough to maintain our day-to-day operations but is woefully insufficient to meet any major contingency that might arise such as the total failure of one or both of the heating systems in our public halls.

In the consultation exercise  the majority of residents who responded told us that they valued our two public halls – especially as both halls are home to some of our youngest residents attending Crag Bank Under 5’s group and the 2246 Carnforth Squadron of the Royal Air Force Cadets.May be an image of 10 people, people standing, military uniform and outdoors

For that reason, we have taken the difficult decision to increase our proportion of your Council Tax payment for 2024-2025 to provide the resources to enable us to replace at least one of the heating systems while maintaining most of our other services.

What will that mean for you? If you live in a Band A, Band B or Band C rated house (which is the majority of residents of Carnforth) then the Town Council’s proportion of your Council Tax payment will be between £1.34 and £1.78 a week.  If you live in a Band D rated property, the proportion of your Council Tax coming to Carnforth Town Council will be £2 a week.

A spreadsheet showing the annual, monthly and weekly cost for each property band for services and functions provided by Carnforth Town Council is availabl here:

We fully recognise the financial pressures bearing down on everybody at the moment, but we hope people will appreciate we are striving to protect and improve our two key building assets whilst delivering other services and functions that make our town a good place to live and work in and to visit.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact in the first instance.