Our revenue budget for the next financial year (2020/2021) was considered by last week's Executive meeting (15 January) and, pending a period of member and public consultation, will be put forward for final approval by Full Council on 26 February.
To fund the budget, a £5 increase in our share of council tax bills is being proposed, the same rise as last year. This would be an increase of 2.8 per cent per average household for the coming year.
Under these proposals, a resident in a Band D property would pay an average of just over £182 in council tax to us for our services for the year 2020/21 - just 50p 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.
Our Interim Managing Director, Sajida Bijle, explained: "We have taken a cautious approach to setting this year's budget as the latest government spending round was for a single year rather than the multi-year settlement that had been anticipated. We have already seen a steep decline in government funding generally since 2010, meaning we are increasingly looking to new and innovative ways to generate income and balance our budget.
“We are recommending an increase of £5 for our share of council tax in the budget for this forthcoming financial year. This will be essential to enable us to continue to deliver our existing and growing range of services for Hertsmere’s residents.
"We will be seeking final approval of our budget at full council at the end of February."
The key headlines from the proposed budget are:
The budget process and our financial strategy link closely with the council's corporate plan and enables the delivery of its goals and objectives. The three corporate goals being: being an enterprising council; planning for the future and supporting our communities
Local government had anticipated a further multi-year finance settlement from 2020/21, but announced a single year spending round for 2020/21 instead
This year sees a small increase in general government funding, the first since 2010, through an increase in the business rates baseline grant, however the decline in central government funding since 2010 means that it now represents just 23 per cent of our funding compared to 54 per cent in 2010/11,
As a billing authority, we collect the council tax every year, but the money residents pay does not all go to us. On average, we receive 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 2020/21 draft budget summary where you can also find details of how to register your views. Closing date for views is midnight on 16 February 2020.
Posted on Monday 20th January 2020