The first ever draft revenue budget for North Northamptonshire Council was approved by the shadow executive on Monday, December 7 and now we’re seeking views on the proposals for when the council comes into existence in April next year.
People can take part in the consultation by:
- Completing the online survey
- Writing to: North Northamptonshire Shadow Authority, Sheerness House, Meadow Road, Kettering, NN16 8TL
The total draft revenue budget for 2021 to 2022 is £284.8 million with the new authority providing all local government services in the north of the county including looking after the vulnerable, being responsible for housing and economic regeneration, leisure and tourism and waste disposal and collection.
Further integration of adult social care and health services is also key to the future, working towards a new way of delivering important services. This makes sense as not only is there a financial efficiency but also it is much less complicated for those of you out there who want to access the services.
Cllr Russell Roberts, Leader of the North Northants Shadow Authority said:
“We’re very keen that as many people as possible have their say on the draft budget proposals for the new North Northamptonshire Council.
“The consultation phase is a very important one in the budget setting process as it’s essential that we get the views of all of the people the proposals effect before we can shape the final plans in February.
“This is both an exciting and challenging time for local government. We are here to represent the people in the north of the county and allowing people to have their say helps facilitate this.”
Cllr Ian Jelley, shadow portfolio holder for finances and revenues and benefits, said: “I’m delighted to have presented the inaugural budget for North Northamptonshire Council to the shadow executive and now we’re beginning the very important consultation phase which helps to shape the draft budget so we can then prepare the final proposals for February.
“The more people that can take part the better as it’s important we get as much feedback from as big a variety of people as possible.”
While the wider local government transformation programme is on target to deliver £80m savings annually across all eight councils in North and West Northamptonshire, like for many councils, the Covid-19 pandemic has created pressure no one could have foreseen on finances for the coming year.
This includes higher demands on services or for help and the delay in delivering savings and the transformation of services as well as a loss of income and reduced Council Tax and Business Rates collection. While the situation is constantly changing, this has created a funding gap which currently stands at £18 million.
Measures are already being introduced to address this gap, including making sure savings that have already been planned can be delivered and also those delayed by Covid-19 can be recovered.
It is also proposed that Council Tax is increased by 4.99%, comprising 1.99% core tax and a 3% adult social care precept, which is the maximum amount permitted.
This would contribute around £8m per annum and would represent a Band D level of Council Tax of £1,532.90 in 2021/22, or the equivalent of £29.48 per week, bringing the financial gap down to £10m.
What happens next?
The formation of the Council and the reorganisation of local government in the county as a whole has many advantages, not just for residents but in making services more efficient and cost-effective.
Once the consultation period closes on January 29 we will analyse the results and then final budget proposals will be developed before going back before the shadow executive in February.