Budget will ‘put residents first’Published Tuesday 26 February 2019
Harborough District Council has approved its budget – with no rise to its share of the Council Tax – which the Council says puts residents’ priorities first.
On 25 February 2019, Harborough District Council approved its budget for 2019/20 with plans for significant investment – more than £57 million over the next three years – in a number of services which residents and businesses said were important to them.
The Grow on Space hub for expanding businesses – set to bring £20million into the local economy – will be completed this year, as well as investment into parks, open spaces and play areas.
Major investment is also planned into leisure opportunities and outreach activities, as well as community facilities, CCTV, voluntary services, affordable homes to help those people struggling to find a home, and disabled facility (home improvement) grants to help those with mobility issues remain in their own homes.
The longer term plan to improve the Council’s existing leisure centres in the district is also continuing.
The Council – which last year received national recognition for Efficiency in the Local Government Chronicle Awards – said it was responding to the challenge of reduced government funding and increased cost pressures by looking at ways it can invest in commercial property, generate income and use its assets in more innovative ways – for example; this month the Council created a theatre venue at Harborough Market, which it owns, to host top comedy acts as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival.
The Council thanked residents whose comments during the recent budget consultation had helped inform the final budget decision.
Cllr Neil Bannister, Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “By being innovative and proactive and looking at ways to generate income or make shrewd commercial investments – we are able to be more resilient against continued reductions in government funding so we can keep Council Tax at the same level as last year.”
Councillor James Hallam, Harborough District Council’s portfolio holder for finance and assets, said: “We are very proud that our budget puts residents first and invests in the services they said they want. Also, by not increasing our share of Council Tax, it goes some way to reducing the burden of household bills.”
Aspects highlighted as important in the recent Residents’ Survey, carried out by the Council, included clean and safe streets, parks, affordable housing, access to nature, activities for teenagers, plus sport and leisure activities and opportunities.
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