There’s a chance for everyone to have their say on our budgets for the next financial year (2024/25) via our new engagement hub.
Next year’s draft revenue budget and the capital budget are now open for public comments before they are put forward for final approval at a full council meeting on 28 February.
More information about this year’s draft budgets can be found at www.hertsmere.gov.uk/budgetconsultation
The draft budget papers offer a detailed insight into the current economic and other external influences and outlines how we propose to present a balanced budget for 2024/25. The papers also explain some of the external pressures we have faced in our financial position and also highlight how central government funding has helped in part to offset some of these challenges.
Portfolio Holder for Finance, Cllr Chris Shenton, explained: "A summary of our proposals has been prepared and there’s now an opportunity for everyone to review these and provide us with comments via our new engagement hub. Our short online survey aims to gauge views on the proposed council tax increase and which of our services respondents consider most important.
"We are recommending an increase of 2.99 per cent for our share of council tax in the budget for this forthcoming financial year which we consider essential to enable us to protect the council tax base value and continue to deliver our range of services for Hertsmere’s residents. However, in the same way as for 2023/24 the council will consider offering households the opportunity to claim a refund on this increase should they wish to do so, resulting in an effective council tax freeze.
"We’ll be seeking final approval of our budgets at our full council meeting at the end of February and, in the meantime, welcome comments on the proposals."
In order to help fund the proposed revenue budget, a 2.99 per cent (equivalent to £5.95 for the next financial year for an average band D property) increase in our share of council tax bills is being proposed. This would represent an 11p increase per week per average household for the coming year.
Under the proposals, a resident in a Band D property would pay an average of £203.99 in council tax to us for our services for the year 2024/5 - just 56p per day. Our share of the council tax represents around 10% of the total collected, with Hertfordshire County Council receiving 77%, the police receiving 11% and the parish and town councils two per cent. The county council and the police are responsible for setting their own council tax.
To find out more information, read our 2024/25 draft budget summary where you can also find details of how to fill out the online survey. If you are not able to complete the survey online, please visit Civic Offices or your local library where a member of staff can help you to do so.
Closing date for views is midnight on 11 February 2024.
The proposed council tax charge will fund the key services the council provides including waste and recycling collections; planning services; housing services; parks and open spaces; street cleaning and environmental health; benefits administration and contributions towards voluntary bodies.
Posted on Friday 12th January 2024