Have your say on Council budget proposals

Published Tuesday 11 January 2022

People are encouraged to have their say on the latest budget proposals as the Council looks to deliver its ’vision for the future’.

Harborough District Council has set out its budget priorities for 2022/23 as it continues to tackle significant financial challenges, as well as invest in frontline services.

FinanceLast year, to help to close a budget gap of £4million, the Council undertook a budget review programme, called Budget Challenge 2025 (BC25). Every Council service was reviewed and by 2024/25 the annual saving will be £3.1m.

The Council has also responded to the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in significant loss of revenue, by providing services in new and innovative ways.

There will also be continued investment into:

  • Community support; making available community grants to support local groups and organisations
  • Protecting the local environment by ensuring appropriate enforcement of planning regulations and helping to minimise environmental crime
  • Supporting local businesses by actively engaging with the business community so they have access to the best possible support that will help them to grow, as well as continuing to provide grant and business support schemes that will help business during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and also the continued delivery of local business hubs such as Harborough Innovation Centre and Grow on Centre
  • Providing leisure facilities, local parks and amenities that will help improve health and well-being in communities
  • Service transformation to make the Council leaner and more efficient by investing in new technology
  • Using the financial resources available to invest in local community assets and develop infrastructure to support future residential and business development

Proposals have also been put forward to increase Harborough District Council’s share of the Council tax by £5 a year, per Band D household, in the Harborough district. This is currently the maximum amount permitted by Government. The Council tax bill contributes to public services and includes precepts from Leicestershire County Council, Police and Crime Commissioner, Harborough District Council, Leicestershire Fire and Rescue and Parish Councils.

The Council has also reviewed its Corporate Plan which sets out its ‘vision for the future’ and what it aims to achieve for people, communities and businesses.

Councillor James Hallam, Harborough District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet lead for finance, said: “Whilst we have proposed an increase in our share of the Council tax bill, we believe this still represents excellent value for money, with the continued delivery of high quality services and significant investment which will see tangible benefits for residents and businesses. It’s also worth noting that since 2011, there has only been an increase in our share of the Council tax bill of just over £8. There has been in-depth work to identify savings across the Council, to address financial challenges and losses in revenue due to the pandemic, as we focus positively on delivering our vision through our revised Corporate Plan."

On 10 January 2022, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet considered the Draft Budget 2022/23 and the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (2023/24 to 2026/27) and agreed that it should move to consultation.

On 7 February 2022, the Cabinet will make its formal recommendations on the proposed budget to Council for consideration on 21 February 2022.

In the meantime, residents and businesses can have their say on the proposals at www.harborough.gov.uk/consultation until 6 February 2022.