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Carefully-considered Hertsmere budgets agreed

Last Modified February 29, 2024

Carefully-considered budgets for the next financial year (2024/25) have been agreed, set against a backdrop of challenging economic conditions.

The revenue and capital budgets were reviewed and agreed at last night’s full council meeting (Wednesday 28 February) following a period of consultation that ran during January and early February on our new Engage digital platform.

The approved revenue budget sets out a balanced position, highlights the prevailing economic conditions and reflects the pressures on council finances brought by shortfalls in government funding. 

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Jeremy Newmark, said: “Budget setting is always a complex and challenging process as we strive to deliver our vital key services without any cuts and provide value for money by using our assets to the optimum. 

“We’re really grateful to those of you who recently responded to our survey when our budgets were published at draft stage.  We’ve worked through those results and your comments and you’ve given us some very valuable insights.” 

Cllr Chris Shenton, Portfolio Holder for Finance, added: “We’ve set out in our budget how we’ll fund key services including waste and recycling; parks and open spaces; street cleaning, environmental health; local planning and housing. 

“To support this, we’ve agreed an increase of 2.99 per cent for our share of council tax for the forthcoming year. This means that a resident in an average Band D property will pay an increase of £5.92 in council tax for our services for the year 2024/25, which is just 11p per week.”

Although we collect council tax every year, the money resident pay does not all go to us. We receive just nine per cent with Hertfordshire County Council receiving 77 per cent, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner receiving 12 per cent and areas with a parish or town council receiving two per cent.

Key findings from our Engage survey, to which 53 completed responses were sent:

  • Waste and recycling and Parks and open spaces are considered our most widely-used services following by Parking and Leisure Facilities
  • Waste and recycling followed by Street Cleansing were considered of the highest priority
  • Lobbying Central Government for additional funding was the highest-ranked method to save money or raise additional income
  • Forty-eight per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the proposed to increase council tax by 2.99 per cent.
  • Forty-five per cent of respondents felt that the proposed council tax for Hertsmere offered value for money, whilst 31 per cent did not agree.  The remaining 24 per cent answered ‘not sure’. 

A programme of capital expenditure was also agreed by members at the meeting.  These included continued park improvements; capital works at Elstree Film Studios stages 7, 8 and improvements to the technology in the council chamber at Civic Offices.

Watch a video explaining the decision here

View the budget papers on the Full Council meeting agenda

Posted on Thursday 29th February 2024

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