Figures have revealed that the cost of running Burntwood Town Council jumped by almost £80,000 over the past 12 months.
Accounts to be discussed at a meeting of the local authority show total outgoings of £391,473 for the 2015/16 period, compared to £311,744 for the previous 12 months.
Much of the rise is down to an increased staffing bill – up from £104,014 in 2014/15 to £140,107 in 2015/16 – and the cost of running its former office at Lambourne House alongside a new home at the Old Mining College Centre. The closure of its previous location should see the authority’s future running costs drop by around £24,000 a year.
Other rises saw the bill for Christmas lighting jump from £3,209 in 2014 to £5,749 last year, while the price of putting on the Burntwood in Bloom project increased from £3,019 to £4,903.
The cost of the Burntwood Wakes Festival bucked the trend though, falling from £44,425 to £20,000, but the civic expenses bill went up from £2,570 to £3,552.
The figures mean that the council saw the money in its general fund and earmarked reserves fall from £342,514 to £298,465 over the 12 months.
Earlier this year, the authority agreed to increase its share of the council tax bill by more than a third in a bid to balance the books. The move saw the money it collects for a Band D property go from £27.91 a year to £37.90.
The accounts will be discussed at a meeting of the council at Burntwood Library this evening (May 18).