Our budget for the next financial year (2021/2022), with a firm focus on Covid recovery, was approved at a recent Full Council meeting (Wednesday 24 February).
Despite 12 months of unprecedented pressures on council services, a balanced budget was presented to the meeting and an average increase of £5 per household for our share of council tax bills was agreed, the same rise as last year.
A household in a Band D property will pay an average of £187 in council tax to us for our services for the year 2021/22- which equates to around 51p per day.
That money is used to fund services including waste and recycling; planning; housing; parks and open spaces; street cleaning and environmental health; benefits administration and contributions towards Police Community Support Officers and the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Portfolio Holder for Finance and Property, Cllr John Graham, outlined the budget at the meeting and reflected on an incredibly challenging year. Cllr Graham commented: "The overall picture is that we are delivering a break-even budget not dissimilar to the budget agreed by this council last February but in a much different manner than envisaged. The favourable balance is not really a surplus but more of a timing difference. We are using it as such, carrying it forward into next year as money in hand to cover risks arising in 2021/22. So overall after a bumpy year, a sound outcome."
He added: "A great deal of hard work has gone in to delivering this prudent budget which will ensure that we can continue to provide our residents and businesses with excellent essential services.
"This was a particularly challenging task this year given the extra demands on our services and the complex funding positions to support Covid recovery.
"I am confident that this carefully considered budget will help to steer Hertsmere through the Covid recovery period and maintain our finances on a firm footing."
As a billing authority, Hertsmere Borough Council collects the council tax every year, but the money residents pay does not all go to the borough council. On average, Hertsmere gets 10 per cent, or 10p in every £1 residents pay, Hertfordshire County Council gets 77 per cent, Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner gets 11 per cent and, if residents live in an area with a parish or town council, (Aldenham Parish Council, Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council, Shenley Parish Council and South Mimms Parish Council), those councils receive two per cent.
Full details of the budget can be viewed on the full council meeting's agenda at item number 6
Posted on Thursday 25th February 2021