Our revenue budget for the next financial year (2019/20) was considered by last week’s Executive meeting (16 January) and, pending a period of member and public consultation, will be put forward for final approval by Full Council at the end of February.
To fund the budget, a small increase in our share of council tax bills is being proposed. This would be an average increase of £5 per household for the coming year, the same rise as last year.
Under these proposals, a resident in a Band D property would pay an average of just over £177 in council tax to us for our services for the year 2019/20 - just 49p 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.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Morris Bright MBE, said: “We are recommending a small council tax increase in the budget, which will be essential to enable us to continue to deliver key frontline services for our residents. At a time when money from central government has been in sharp decline, we are looking to provide both a continuing and growing range of services. We have worked on similar assumptions to last year and suggested a £5 increase. A final decision will be taken at full council at the end of February."
The continued decline in general government funding since 2010 means that it now represents just 23 per cent of our funding compared to 54 per cent in 2010/11, so the cost of providing council services is falling increasingly on our residents, although we are working hard to raise additional income and deliver efficiency savings. We are also facing increasing cost pressures due to economic factors including inflation, rising demand for some service areas such as homelessness prevention and other social and environmental factors such as the rising costs of recyclables. We will raise additional income next year through fees, charges and rents from its assets to a total of around £629,000 to offset some of these pressures, and is also working to provide its services more efficiently, making savings of £372,000.
As a billing authority, we collect the council tax every year, but the money residents pay does not all go to us at the borough council. On average, we get just 10 per cent, or 10p in every £1 you pay, Hertfordshire County Council gets 78 per cent, Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner gets 10 per cent and, if you 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), they get two per cent.
To find out more information, read our 2019/20 draft budget summary where you can also find details of how to register your views. Closing date for views is midnight on 15 February 2019.
Posted on Monday 21st January 2019