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Balanced budget to provide firm financial foundations for North Northants


16 December 2021

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Delivering a balanced revenue budget while working hard to protect vital services is at the heart of proposals which will be put before North Northamptonshire Council’s Executive next week.

The budget will set out a detailed spending strategy for the authority for the financial year 2022-2023 as well as outlining the medium-term financial plan for the next three years.

The budget further develops firm financial foundations for the council as it settles into its second year following the reorganisation of local government in Northamptonshire.

Proposals focus on further transformation of services as well as developing policies around the authority’s corporate plan.

The council’s commitment to tackling the effects of climate change is emphasised with a dedicated pot of £1 million over the next three years to be invested in moving towards net carbon zero.

The council is also investing in Northamptonshire Children’s Trust to help deliver service improvements for some of our most vulnerable children and young people. 

The authority is also proposing to reintroduce bus subsidies for rural routes – helping connect communities and reduce car journeys.

I’m proud to present this budget to the Executive and I’d like to thank colleagues who have worked exceptionally hard throughout the year to get our finances to where they are.

We are very much in a period of transition from the formation of our new council in April and it’s essential that we have financial stability to provide the firm foundations from which we can develop.

This budget provides just that while at the same time ensuring that there are no cuts to service provision.

While we are in a strong position now, we cannot shy away from the fact that the Covid pandemic has had a profound effect on societies and economies around the world and this presents us with some uncertainty in the medium term.

However, I am confident that by being prudent we can be in the best position possible as we move forward
Cllr Lloyd Bunday, the council’s executive member for finance
Financial stability is one of the cornerstones of local government and it’s essential that we’re in a robust and stable position if we are to deliver quality services to the people of North Northants.

I’m pleased that despite the uncertain times we’re living in, we’ve been able to draft proposals that aim to benefit our residents while at the same time are affordable.
Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council

Council Tax

It is proposed that council tax is increased by 2.99%, which includes the adult social care levy of 1%.

This would contribute around £5.2m per annum and would represent a Band D level of Council Tax for North Northamptonshire Council of £1,578.73.

This is an increase of £45.83 (equivalent to £0.88 per week) from the Band D Council Tax level of £1,532.90 in 2021/22. 

This Band D figure does not include the Council Tax for individual Town and Parish Councils or the Council Tax set for Fire and Police by the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

There is no change to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme which will continue at 25%. 

Net budget

Net revenue budget for 2022/2023 is £293.2million, providing a range of services to residents and businesses across the area including care to vulnerable adults and children, education, the disposal and collection of waste, household waste recycling, economic development, housing and support for the homeless.

The authority is also investing in staff to help deliver its services.  Last year, the minimum level of pay for our staff was raised to £9.50 per hour (equivalent to the real living wage).  Further pay awards for 2022/23 will be subject to any national announcements and consultation.

Housing Revenue Account 

The Housing Revenue Account (HRA) is a separate ring-fenced account within the Council for the income and expenditure associated with its housing stock. 

The HRA does not directly impact on the Council’s wider general fund budget or on the level of council tax. Income to the HRA is primarily received through the rents and other charges paid by tenants and leaseholders. 

This year’s HRA proposal is for a balanced budget for the two Neighbourhood Accounts, which means there is no need to use reserves for funding.

There is also a proposed rent Increase of 4.1% for the next financial year, which is in line with the Government guidelines for rent setting levels. Any funding received by the HRA is retained within the HRA and will be used to support housing improvements and maintenance.

Next steps

The draft revenue budget will be discussed at a meeting of the Executive on December 23 and, if approved, a consultation on the proposals will start the same day, running until Friday, January 28.

The Executive will then meet on February 10 to consider final budget proposals for recommendation to Full Council on February 24.