Northamptonshire County Council has today announced refreshed budget proposals for the 2019-2020 financial year following public consultation and the Government’s announcement to give additional tax raising powers.
A 4.99% Council Tax increase is being proposed which would mean the county would have the second lowest like-for-like county tax rate in the country while at the same time be able to further stabilise its finances and invest in areas people have said are most important to them.
The Council Tax increase would amount to an additional 75p to £1 a week for the 70 per cent of county residents living in properties within the Council Tax Bands of A to C. This would raise an additional £5.8m which will be used as follows:
- An extra £475,000 to permanently reinstate the previous winter gritting and winter maintenance of roads
- Scrapping plans to charge for community use of schools by uniformed and community groups
- An additional £1.2m for Children’s Services
- A reversal of plans to charge for higher specification community equipment
- An extra £673,000 towards independent adult social care placements
- Provide greater financial resilience
- Provide a more sustainable financial foundation for any future Unitary Councils
County council leader, Cllr Matt Golby, said:
“Of course I do not take any proposal to increase taxes lightly. However given that even after this increase we will remain one of the very lowest taxing counties in the country and given that it will mean we can invest or re-invest in areas people have told us are important, I believe it is the right thing to do.
“In addition to this, if we move towards new unitary councils the additional increase will mean that both new authorities will begin life with a far more sustainable income for services.
“In the current financial year at one point our challenge to deliver a balanced budget stood at £64.2m. As today’s papers show we are now within touching distance of achieving this. The budget proposals published today will build on this new financial stability and set this organisation, and any future new ones, on a course of far greater financial sustainability.”
The savings target for 2019-2020 is £41million, against a net budget of £418m.
The budget will now be presented before Cabinet on 14 February before being debated at Full Council on 21 February.