Consultation on the Council’s Budget Proposals for 2018/19 & Service Priorities Moving Forward
We continue to make good progress towards achieving our long-term vision to double the population of Corby by 2030, create new jobs, increase local prosperity, and raise the standard of public services to the very best.
As part of the 2018/19 budget process we believe that as services are provided for you, then you should have your say in where resources are directed. We would therefore welcome your views on the questions that are set out below. Your responses can then inform the decision that will be made in February.
Council Tax and Rent Increases
This year we are proposing a Council Tax Increase of £5 (equivalent of 2.7%). This follows several years of Central Government Grant cuts and expenditure pressures that we can longer absorb without this increase.
Most of the Council Tax that you pay goes to Northamptonshire County Council and Northamptonshire Police Authority, and therefore the overall increase depends on their decisions. At £184.50, the Band D Corby Borough Council element of the average Council Tax bill is amongst the lowest in the country, which in turn demonstrates excellent Value for Money. £5 is the maximum increases that we are allowed to make without a referendum.
Do you support a Council Tax Increase of £5 for Corby’s share of the Council Tax? - respond using on line consultation form
For those of you who live in Council houses or flats, we have no choice but to follow Central Government policy and reduce rents by 1%. This is in line with the Government’s 4 year long austerity plan and their objective of reducing the welfare bill. Whilst this represents good news in terms of weekly rents paid by tenants, it will have a detrimental effect on the Council’s ability to invest in the stock in the future. The provision of Council housing is a separate ring fenced function and is funded entirely from rents, rather than the Council Tax.
The current average rent for Corby tenants is around £80 per week. This is the lowest in the County and approximately £6 a week less than the County average. A 1% rents reduction amounts to approximately 80 pence a week.
Although the downturn in the economy has affected the public sector, we have continued to manage our finances responsibly in order to invest significant sums in local regeneration schemes and service improvements. However, reductions in government funding from Central Government has forced us to act prudently and make substantial reductions in our budget in previous years. There is therefore limited scope of up to £100k per annum for any additional investment in our services moving forward.
As a result, the changes proposed are limited and mainly restricted to supporting our growth agenda and providing existing services to the highest possible standard. Prioritised changes that total £100k and non prioritised changes that total £164k are as follows:
|Growth Bid||Ongoing Amount £||One - Off Amount £||Total £|
|Additional Officer Support for Environmental Protection (2 days)||17,333||17,333|
|Planning Member Training||2,000||2,000|
|Street Lighting Utility & Maintenance Costs for Little Stanion||9,000||9,000|
|Additional Human Resources Support (half day)||4,000||4,000|
|Pool Plant Operator (half post)||12,420||12,420|
|Property Services Chartered Surveyor (additional post)||40,000||40,000|
|Subscription to Arc Growth Board for Administration Costs||5,000||5,000|
|Culture & Leisure Management Restructure||5,000||5,000|
|Other Bids to Consider|
|Tree Consultancy Support for Trees & Landscaping Officer (2 days)||25,600||25,600|
|Billing Officer (half post)||13,500||13,500|
|Pool Management Support (additional 2 days)||13,270||13,270|
|Culture & Leisure Tree Maintenance Increase in Budget||10,000||10,000|
|Boating Lake Pest Control||2,000||2,000|
|Play Areas Maintenance Increase in Budget||10,000||10,000|
|Open Spaces Increase in Budget||20,000||20,000|
|Northamptonshire Destination Management Organisation||10,000||10,000|
|Refuse Collection Increase in Budget||7,220||7,220|
|Northamptonshire Domestic Abuse Service Contribution||37,000||37,000|
|Other External Funding Requests||-||-|
Do you support the prioritised budget proposals for growth? - respond using on line consultation form
Future Service Priorities
Whist we have already made significant savings over the past few years, the national programme of austerity is likely to continue for several years as it is clear that Local Government will continue to be adversely affected by Central Government spending cuts. As the challenge becomes even greater in future years we may have to look at cutting services altogether rather than simply making changes to existing budgets. If moving forward we are to look at prioritising what we do, rather than continuing to do what we do with less funding, then we would like to understand what you consider to be the relative priorities of the council and where future funding should be directed.
What services do you think should be a priority for the Council - respond using on line consultation form
What services should not be a priority for the Council - respond using on line consultation form
I hope that you will support our budget proposals and our continued investments in those services that you have told us are important to you. It’s your money, so please let us know your views, which we will consider prior to making a final decision at the Full Council meeting on 23rd February 2017.
Councillor Tom Beattie
Leader of Corby Borough Council
How to Respond
The full report that was approved by the Council’s One Corby policy Committee is available on the Council’s website using this link
We want your views in order to help Councillors to make their decisions in February. Please respond using this online form or in writing by Friday 5th January 2018, giving your name and address and (if applicable) the organisation that you represent,
Director of Corporate Services
Corby Borough Council