Our revenue budget for the next financial year (2021/22) was considered at the recent Executive meeting (13 January) and, pending a period of member and public consultation, will be put forward for final approval by Full Council on 24 February.
To fund the budget, a £5 increase in Hertsmere Borough Council's share of council tax bills is being proposed, the same rise as last year. This would represent less than 10p increase per week per average household for the coming year at a time when the council, along with other public sector organisations, has been under significant financial pressures and upheaval due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There is an opportunity in the coming weeks for everyone to read the proposals and submit comments. Visit www.hertsmere.gov.uk/budgetconsultation for more information.
Under the proposals, a resident in a Band D property would pay an average of £187.34 in council tax to us for our services for the year 2021/22 - just 51p per day.
The proposed council tax charge will be 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 and Property, Cllr John Graham, explained: "There’s now an opportunity for everyone to review our proposals and provide us with comments.
“Once again, we have taken a cautious approach to drawing up this budget proposal and continued to build on the good work in recent years as we look to new and innovative ways to generate income and balance our budget given the steep decline in government funding since 2010.
"My thanks to staff at the council for continuing with these efforts at the same time as working so hard to maintain our essential services in recent months during the pandemic.
“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 2021/22 service budgets reflect normal service provision or known changes to service provision where applicable. Central government has announced additional funding for Covid-19 in 2021/22 in relation to additional costs, loss of income from fees and charges and loss of tax revenues and this funding will be applied to meet any such cost and income pressures against normal service budgets.
Local government had anticipated a further multi-year finance settlement for 2021/22. However, due to the efforts on the Covid-19 pandemic, central government announced a single year spending round for 2021/22.
Central government has so far confirmed two new grants for 2021/22 to help support local authorities suffering from funding pressures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This means there will be a slight increase in general government funding in the 2021/22 financial year which now represents just 24 per cent of our funding compared to 54 per cent in 2010/11.
As a billing authority, Hertsmere Borough Council collects the council tax every year, but the money residents pay does not all go to the borough council. On average, Hertsmere gets just 10 per cent, or 10p in every £1 you pay, Hertfordshire County Council gets 77 per cent, Hertfordshire's Police and Crime Commissioner gets 11 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 2 per cent.
To find out more information, read our 2021/22 draft budget summary www.hertsmere.gov.uk/budgetconsultation where you can also find details of how to register your views. Closing date for views is midnight on 14 February 2021.
Posted on Friday 15th January 2021