Welcome rebate for Common Good Fund

AN ARBROATH councillor has expressed his joy at an unexpected boost for the town’s Common Good Fund.

Independent Bob Spink said he was delighted after discovering Angus Council planned to reimburse the Arbroath Common Good Fund with £100,000 for charges made to the account of the Webster Memorial Theatre.

He said: “Well I’m absolutely over the moon. It’s something coming from nothing.

“The fund has been under pressure with so many projects over the last few years. This is a much needed boost and I’m grateful to the officers for finding it and dealing with it so easily.

“The fund is very healthy, having increased by just over £100,000 which will be a great help. The revenue in any year is just over £100,000.

“If the depreciation had continued that would have brought in less and less.”

Due to a change in how depreciation charges were calculated, Angus Council discovered it had charged too much for the Webster Memorial Theatre, and would also in future charge less.

A spokesperson for Angus Council explained: “The change to the way depreciation charges were calculated only adversely affected Common Good accounts.

“This was because other accounts had licence to make permitted adjustments which offset depreciation.

“The depreciation charge for the Webster Memorial Theatre, which is an Arbroath Common Good asset, was increased due to the substantial refurbishment investment carried out over 2008/2009.

“However, a new method of allocating costs of the redevelopment works has reduced the impact on the Arbroath Common Good account.

“This adjustment will be backdated to 2008/2009 and will free up £143,364 additional cash for the three years to March 31, 2012 and £47,778 per annum thereafter, for potential use by the Arbroath Common Good account.”

According to Angus Council, further Common Good accounts in Arbroath are not eligible for adjustment as they have not undergone such substantial refurbishment.

The spokesperson continued: “The Neighbourhood Services (General Fund) account will require to bear the cost of the £47,788 annual depreciation cost transferred from the Arbroath Common Good account but accounting adjustments will mean that the General Fund account will be no worse or better off as a result of this depreciation adjustment.”

Councillor Spink concluded: “The Common Good Fund is very important for all the burghs, and in particular for Arbroath. It’s a good way for private projects for the good of the people of Arbroath to be completed.

“The fund is open for applications and any body or individual can make an application for funding and that is studied by council officers before it comes before the councillors to be decided.”