Public urged to have say on council budget plans

Published Tuesday 13 January 2015

Views are being sought on budget proposals outlined by the district council as it looks to invest in communities whilst protecting frontline services.

Harborough District Council’s Executive met on Monday 12 January 2015 to set out its budget plans for the year ahead. 

As well as a proposed freeze to the district council’s portion of the council tax bill for the fifth successive year, councillors also outlined plans for investment, despite one of the biggest reductions in annual Government grant in recent years.

The council said, despite facing a projected budget shortfall of between £1.2m and £1.6m last year, it has been able to balance the budget through careful financial planning, and savings across the council, to protect frontline services.

Investment in council priorities is also planned due to the council’s success with the New Homes Bonus scheme, which has already seen communities with new housing benefit from funding, as well as the retention of business rates growth.

  • The budget for 2015/16 proposes investment in:
  • Districtwide projects – with £300,000 to be allocated to community projects 
  • Small and medium sized business initiatives  totalling £250,000
  • Superfast broadband to improve internet speeds in rural areas with a further £250,000 being committed
  • Disabled Facility Grants for home adaptations
  • The creation of new business space with the Harborough Innovation Centre full to capacity
  • ‘A rural district of culture’ which will develop events to promote tourism 

Cllr Phil King, finance portfolio holder for Harborough District Council said: “We have worked incredibly hard to propose a balanced budget. It would have been easy to ‘salami-slice’ services, cut jobs or increase council tax, but we didn’t want to do that. Instead, we’re building on previous projects such as the redevelopment of The Symington Building and the market, among other services, which have created sources of revenue for the council. As well as this, every team within the council has been rigorously challenged to make savings where possible – however small – without affecting the services they provide."

Public feedback on the budget will be considered in advance of the Executive recommending a budget to Full Council on 9 February 2015.

Cllr King added: “We’re looking to protect frontline services yet remain committed to delivering high quality services within the district, and we’re very keen that residents and businesses tell us their views on what we are proposing.”

Have your say on the Harborough District Council budget for 2015/16, before the deadline of 8 February 2015 by visiting