Haverhill Town Council has more than £1 million in reserve.
The figure was revealed at Tuesday’s (September 3) town council meeting at the arts centre, when a member of the public used the public forum to question why such a large amount was needed in reserve.
“Why is there £1 million in reserve, which was increased by £100,000 last year?” he asked.
Town clerk Will Austin insisted a reserve is needed, especially given the council’s growing property portfolio.
“We do need a reserve and councillors took a decision for the precept to increase as they were taking on this building (the arts centre) as the borough council wanted rid of it, and we’ve managed to make it work financially and have been more successful than the borough in that regard.”
Cllr Maureen Byrne said such a high reserve was needed as a large chunk would be used if urgent building repair work was needed.
Cllr Byrne said: “When we replaced the roof two or three years ago it was a massive financial burden. We have about £350,000 in the general reserve and the rest is set aside for other projects.”
The same man said it should be clear on the agenda what each cheque is for, but Mr Austin said it would be a ‘significant undertaking’ for an organisation with a turnover of over £2 million, and details of cheques for over £500 are viewable online.
In addition to running the arts centre, the town council recently assumed responsibility for the Leiston Centre and is hoping to soon own the former magistrates’ court in Camps Road too.
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (September 12) Echo.