Our elected representatives have backed a budget which acknowledges and responds to the ongoing financial impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, while aiming to achieve a vision for Hertsmere that prioritises strong identity, enterprise and climate action with delivery of essential services at its core.
Our revenue budget for the next financial year (2022/2023), which sets out the anticipated outgoing costs of delivering services and how they will be met by funding resources, was approved at a recent Full Council meeting (Wednesday 23 February). Despite ongoing cost pressures and loss of income caused by the pandemic, 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 £192 in council tax to us for our services for the year 2022/23- which equates to around 53p 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, Councillor Abhishek Sachdev, said: "Our budget sets out how we will maintain services, whilst minimising the impact on our residents and has at its core, our vision for the borough, as a forward-looking, inclusive and enterprising borough.
“We know that rising inflation has led to an increase in household costs and that many of our residents will be under considerable financial strain.
"The agreed increase of £5 for our share of council tax in the budget for this forthcoming financial year is below the current rate of inflation and is essential to enable us to continue to deliver our range of services for Hertsmere’s residents.
"Government funding has increased for 2022/23, in order to ensure no local authority sees a funding reduction from the pressures caused by the pandemic. However government funding still represents less than a third of our overall funding, compared to 54 per cent in 2010/11.
"This break-even budget takes into consideration the increased pressures on some of our services, such as waste; the loss of income we've experienced from reductions in other services, such as parking; and the uncertainty of future government funding after the next financial year.
"Our ongoing commitment to delivering efficiencies and a boost to our income, part of which derives from the extra rent provided by the new Platinum Stages at Elstree Studios due to open later this year, have helped to offset these pressures.
"Thanks to these initiatives, along with the agreed slight increase in our share of the council tax, we've been able to present a balanced budget, which is a statutory requirement for all local authorities.
“A great deal of work has gone into this budget and I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment on our proposals during the recent consultation."
As a billing authority, we collect 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: https://hertsmere.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=106&MId=10798&Ver=4
Posted on Thursday 24th February 2022