Final budget proposals for 2024-2025 to be discussed by North Northamptonshire Council’s ExecutiveFinance
01 February 2024
Final budget proposals for North Northamptonshire Council for the next financial year will be presented to the authority’s Executive on February 8.
Draft proposals were initially approved by the Executive on December 21, and these have been subject to a detailed consultation process and scrutiny.
A report to be discussed at Executive will present a balanced revenue budget for 2024-2025 as well as outline the medium-term financial plan for the following three years.
A commitment to maintain vital service provision has seen the Council invest an additional £62.6 million into services to protect the most vulnerable in our communities and address a growing need for services.
Overall, the net revenue budget for 2024/2025 is £375.3 million. This money provides 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, highways maintenance, economic development, housing and support for those that are homeless.
The Council will also be proposing a programme of capital investment totalling £170.1m over the four-year period 2024-28 across a number of schemes including investing over £49.1m into highways, £12.2m for schools, £10.7m to support disabled facilities, £9.1m in improving digital infrastructure, £2.7m from the Corby Town Fund and £2.9m for Electrical Vehicle infrastructure.
I’m proud that despite the financial challenges that the sector is facing we’re able to present final budget proposals that protect and invest in frontline services, while maintaining our prudent financial management to lay foundations for the future.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council
I’m pleased that despite the uncertain times we’re living in, we’ve been able to develop proposals that aim to benefit our residents while at the same time are affordable.
Final Budget Proposals
The final budget proposals for 2024-2025 have been updated since the draft budget was presented to the December Executive. Predominantly this is due to a further net investment of £4.096m for Adult Social Care to meet growth in demand above that originally forecast.
This pressure will be funded from the new grant for Social Care, announced by Government on January 24, which is estimated to be around £2.629m with the balance of £1.467m being met from the Adult Social Care Reserve. The figures will be subject to the outcome of the Final Finance Settlement from Government which is expected in early February.
We are seeing pressures in relation to Adult Social Care services up and down the country, and this has been felt particularly acutely in North Northamptonshire.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council
We are absolutely doing the right thing to invest more into this area to address the increase in demand.
Although the adult social care precept allows councils to generate some money to address rising demand in the service it falls well short of what is needed. I have written directly to the Secretary of State, to ask that Government provides the necessary investment to ensure vulnerable people can receive the care they need.
The additional grant announcement is welcome but further funding is still required and we will continue to push Government for this and a longer-term settlement.
There has also been a further change to the income forecast for the garden waste collection service compared to that proposed in the December draft budget. The proposed charge has been drawn up to better reflect the increase in running costs for the service, which the Council subsidises, and will help to reduce the use of reserves, as well as safeguard other essential services.
Residents can still dispose of garden waste through Household Waste Recycling Centres and home composting bins or garden waste sacks, the price of which remain unchanged.
Government has permitted local authorities to increase the Council Tax rate by 4.99%, including 2% for the adult social care precept, in recognition of the difficult financial climate and increased inflationary pressures.
The authority is proposing an increase allowed by Government in council tax of 4.99%.
This increase would contribute around an additional £9.5m per year towards inflationary and demand lead pressures to enable services to be maintained and would represent a Band D level of Council Tax for North Northamptonshire Council of £1,740.22 for 2024/2025.
This is an annual increase of £82.71 (equivalent to £1.59 per week) from the Band D Council Tax level set in 2023/2024.
Around 57% of properties in North Northamptonshire are in Council Tax Bands A and B which will see an annual increase of £55.14 (equating to £1.06 per week) and £64.33 (£1.24 per week) respectively.
Increasing Council Tax has the advantage of providing stable funding for the future, helping to further protect services.
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%.
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.
There is also a proposed rent increase of 7.7% for the next financial year, which accords with the Government’s rent setting policy for 2024/2025. Any funding received by the HRA is retained within the HRA and will be used to support housing improvements and maintenance.
Following the Executive meeting on February 8, the final budget will then be presented to Full Council on February 22 for final approval.