Corby Borough Council’s 2017/18 Budget that allows for growth, protects frontline services and increases reserves, received cross party agreement at tonight’s Full Council meeting (Thursday 23rd February).
The Budget also includes a 2.79% increase (£5 for Band D), which is likely to leave the average Council Tax for Corby as the second lowest District Council in the county for 2017/18.
Deputy Leader of Corby Borough Council, Cllr Jean Addison, said:
‘The 2017/18 budget is extremely positive for the Council in the current climate and continues to build on the success of our strong financial leadership.
‘It is one of the most straight forward budgets that we have delivered in recent years and is largely due to difficult decisions that have previously been taken and a more commercial approach including investment in income generating schemes such as the Corby Innovation Centre.
‘The key to future prosperity is regeneration and growth and the key part of the 2017/18 budget is that it strengthens our commitment towards this aim so that future budgets can continue to be delivered within an environment of expansion rather than contraction.
‘We have now had austerity for 5 years and whilst continued Central Government funding cuts and the impact of the recession have continued and will continue to place significant strain on local government finances, our commitment to growth allows the budget for 2017/18 to protect front line services, and allow a contribution to reserves.
‘This is in stark contrast to several councils up and down the country who are forced into having to cut services, utilise reserves and make significant job cuts in order to balance their books.
‘We do however recognise that there will continue to be uncertainties as we move forward and as a result we have sought to increase in our reserves over the past few years. This is supported by the LGA and the Council’s Peer Review and represents a further example of how the council has and is continuing to move forward.
‘It is also becoming increasingly apparent that whilst the Council has complied with Government policy initiatives and diktats, including efficiency savings and growth both in terms of housing and attracting new businesses, the future for our finances continues to be challenging.
‘We know that local government overall will continue to be subject to significant change and pressure moving forward. However, it will not be for 2-3 years until we know the full extent of changes to Business Rates Retention Funding and how this will affect our finances.
‘In short, we have done well so far but we know that there will be risks moving forward.
‘As a result we feel that we have no choice but to try and protect ourselves from future government funding actions and this includes an increase in the Council tax of £5 for a Band D property.
‘Whilst we recognise and accept the challenges that the Council faces over the next few years, overall our Budget for 2017/18 is another budget for service provision, investment, growth and opportunity. It’s a budget that builds on our past achievements and will continue to deliver even more in Corby in support of our corporate aims.’