HASLEMERE will need more money to bring in controlled car parking zones around the station and to take over the cost of maintaining three recreation sites in Beacon Hill. The town budget has still to get final approval, but the finance and general purposes committee has approved the draft sums for the next financial year. The total precept – the amount of residents' money it will be asking back from Waverley council tax – is £192,500 for 2008/09. Haslemere Town Mayor Stephen Mulliner, said: "This represents a 4.1 per cent increase, which is in line with the increase in the Retail Price Index." The committee heard Haslemere Town Council's net expenditure for the year ending March 31, 2008 is forecast to be approximately £10,000 lower than budgeted. "As a result, it was decided to hold the core 2008/09 precept constant at £185,000. It was also agreed to make a one-off addition of £7,500 to contribute to the costs of improving the car parking situation in the vicinity of Haslemere Station." South West Trains has already paid for extra parking at Haslemere Station – to ease the pressure from commuter parking, but when this comes on stream the council is planning restrictions on Kings Road, with double yellow lines by the footbridge, extending double yellow lines in Three Gates Lane, from the junction with Grayswood Road, and single lines on the south side of Derby Road. The town council will seek extra funding from the highways authority, Surrey County Council but has been told the county's budget for roads has been halved. Councillor Michael Dover said it would be unreasonable to expect South West Trains to help as they had already paid for the extension to the station car park. The budgets for personnel, administration, premises and tourism will all increase by inflation- linked amounts. The grants budget will be maintained at £38,000 of which £20,000 is earmarked for Haslemere Educational Museum to support its fundraising drive. Capital expenditure will be £6,000 lower next year because the current year contained the replacement of the aerial runway on Lion Green and other regular expenses will be £10,000 lower because the current year contained the cost of the local elections. External maintenance will rise by £3,700 from £21,000 to £24,700 mainly to fund grass-cutting and other maintenance on three sites in Beacon Hill which local volunteers, the Beacon Hill 'Heavy Brigade', have restored. The Heavy Brigade, named by ex-mayor Michael Dover, as opposed to the 'Light Brigade' which looks after Beacon Hill Christmas lights, had cleared Grovers Gardens, Tilford Road and Woodcock Green. The town council is still considering whether to take over full maintenance from Waverley Borough Council, including Town Meadow, which would cost an estimated £4,640 in total.
Draft figures announced for town budget
Friday 11th January 2008 12:00 am