Council approves budget including £700k Jubilee fund

Published Friday 25 February 2022

The district council last night approved its budget and council tax for the year ahead, as well as its ‘vision for the future’.

At a meeting of Full Council on 24 February 2022, Harborough District Council agreed its budget priorities for 2022/23 as it continues to tackle significant financial challenges, as well as invest in frontline services.

Leader of the Council Cllr Phil King confirmed £700,000 would be made available for a Platinum Jubilee Community Capital Fund which will allow local organisations to bid for funding to help secure or develop significant capital assets, across the district, as a lasting commemoration of Her Majesty The Queen’s historic 70 year milestone.  

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

Last year, to help 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 recently consulted the public on its budget proposals and, separately, about residents’ aspirations and priorities for the Harborough district.

The Council has recommended 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

Councillors approved an increase in Harborough District Council’s share of the Council tax of £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.

Councillor James Hallam, Harborough District Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet lead for finance, said: “We continue to face financial pressures and, despite an increase in our share of the Council tax bill, we believe this still represents excellent value for money. We will continue to provide high quality services and invest in our 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, with the total district council’s share of the council tax bill just 9 per cent of the overall amount residents pay.”