Public urged to have say on council budget plans

Published Tuesday 12 January 2016

People are being encouraged to have their say on the district council’s budget proposals for the year ahead.

Harborough District Council’s Executive met on Monday 11th January 2016 to set out its budget plans for 2016/17. 

The budget issued for consultation proposes a zero increase in the district council’s share of the council tax bill for 2016/17. This is the sixth successive year that the district council has been able to keep council tax at the same level or reduce it.

The council continues to see significant reductions in Government funding year on year. For 2016/17 Harborough District Council will receive £568,000 less core Government funding than in 2015/16 – a reduction of nearly 20 per cent.

The Council has over the past few years been preparing for reduced Government funding through securing the benefits of housing and business growth through the Government’s New Homes Bonus and business rate retention scheme. The council’s high level performance in this area continues to partially mitigate the impact of Government reductions.

The proposed budget identifies £710,000 of savings and £460,000 of income generation proposals and funds £963,000 of cost pressures including £655,000 of changes in treatment costs of recycled waste in 2016/17.

The Council proposes to continue to support business growth and skills in businesses through a £200,000 business initiatives pot commenced last year.  The Council is also proposing a capital programme of £8 million over the next three years, investing in communities, developing low cost housing and developing business accommodation for small businesses. The council is also maintaining funding for disabled facilities grants.

Cllr Phil King, finance portfolio holder for Harborough District Council said: “The proposed budget continues to target monies at council priorities. Major changes in funding for waste and recycling services has made setting the 2016/17 budget particularly challenging. Through a rigorous budget process the council is able to not increase council tax for the sixth year running."

Public feedback on the budget will be considered by the Executive at its meeting on 8th February 2016. Recommendations from this will be considered by Full council on 22nd February 2016.

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 2016/17, before the deadline of 7 February 2016 by visiting