Council sets out budget proposals

Published Friday 4 January 2019

Harborough District Council has set out its budget priorities for 2019/20 with proposals not to increase its share of Council Tax – plus significant investment in a number of key areas.

This includes leisure, community facilities, voluntary sector, play areas, home improvement (disabled facilities) grants and providing affordable homes.

Following the Council’s national recognition last year for Efficiency in the Local Government Chronicle Awards the Council continues to respond successfully to the challenge of reduced government funding and increased cost pressures through maximising the use of its assets and generating income from a variety of sources.

The Council's budget details £692,000 of income generation proposals and identifies £105,000 of savings for 2019/20 while investing an additional £573,000 into services that residents value. The Council continues to invest directly into communities through grant opportunities and leisure outreach services.

The Council’s success at promoting economic growth, whilst delivering proportionate housing growth, continues to deliver real cash benefits to Harborough district through Central Government reward grants (ie. New Homes Bonus) that maintain or develop services for residents and businesses. Harborough district remains one of the best performers in Leicestershire and nationally in generating reward grants.  

The District Council and local MPs have also successfully lobbied Central Government to reverse significant grant reductions which would have reduced Government support by a further £343,000 for the 2019/20 financial year if implemented. Harborough District has also been successful in being selected as a business rate pilot Council for 2019/20 which is expected to generate an additional £14million to be retained within Leicestershire next year.

The Council is proposing an ambitious capital programme of over £56 million over the next three years including improved leisure facilities in Market Harborough and Lutterworth, the opening of a Grow on Space for businesses this year and investment in open spaces and play areas. The Council will also be investing in property funds and acquiring commercial properties to generate revenue income to support services. The Council continues to target significant funds to provide affordable housing within the district and to allow residents to remain in their own homes through disabled facility grants.

Councillor James Hallam, Harborough District Council’s portfolio holder for finance and assets, said: “The Council continues to be able to propose a budget for 2019/20 that invests in services that residents and business tell us they value. The Council’s focus on income generation means that Harborough District Council will not be increasing its share of Council Tax for 2019/20. The proposed capital programme of over £56 million over the next three years will provide modern facilities for our residents and businesses that we can all be proud of.”

Subject to councillors’ agreement on 14 January 2019, residents will then be asked to have their say on the budget proposals.

Harborough District Council will approve its budget proposals at the end of February 2019.

View the full report on the Council’s website