Saturday, 31 October 2020

Pandemic has cost council £100,000

Pandemic has cost council £100,000

HENLEY Town Council has lost almost £100,000 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is mostly made up of lost income during the lockdown period from March to July.

The council says it lost £26,000 from the town hall not being hired while people hiring King’s Arm Barn were given a rent holiday for six months.

Another £21,000 was lost with no exhibitions held at the Old Fire Station Gallery and the weekly markets in Market Place.

The usual income from cemeteries — about £65,000 — fell by 23 per cent because of the restrictions on the number of people allowed at funerals since March.

Income from the Meadow Road car park was nil in April and very low in May

The council also established a £20,000 fund to combat the virus and spent £5,000 on signage and pavement stickers to help businesses and to encourage social distancing.

Councillor Ian Reissmann, who chairs the council’s finance strategy and management committee, said: “We are over budget and that is mostly due to covid-19-related things.

“We have suffered from the difficulties like other councils, but we are in a better position than others as we have reserves we can draw on.”

The council was able to save £17,000 using the Government’s furlough scheme and delayed hiring parks staff and a communications manager.

It has also dropped plans to install a public toilet at Makins recreation ground, saving £5,000 a year in running costs.

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