Councillors agree budget
Published: 19 Feb 2019
Protecting and investing in vital frontline services, extra money for local roads and schools, and additional funding to help us meet the needs of our growing county are priorities in the council’s budget and spending plans agreed today (Tuesday 19 February) by councillors. The budget for 2019/20 includes a council tax increase of 2.99% (the maximum allowed), which works out at an additional 76p a week for average band D households.
Ralph Sangster, Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance, said:
“We are confident that the spending plans we’ve agreed today for the new financial year, will enable us to meet the challenges of our growing population and ever increasing demand for vital support services for disabled and vulnerable children and adults and the elderly.
“Our priority will once again be on delivering and protecting key frontline services, but we will also be investing in key areas, which matter most to our residents. We have set aside an additional £8million for our local road network, which makes a total investment of £37million over five years. In addition we have earmarked £66million for our local schools this year and almost £250million over the next four years, to provide much needed school places for our children and young people.”
The budget also includes:
nearly £30million of additional funding this year for vital adult and children’s social care services, of which more than £11million will provide support for our increasing population of adults living with learning disabilities, with a further £4m to deliver joint projects with local NHS organisations;
funding of some £4million to ensure that people working in important social care roles contracted by the council are paid over and above the National Living Wage
significant investment of £330,000 to tackle domestic abuse, through the creation of a new dedicated team
around £2million to help us transform our services to best meet the needs of residents now and in the future
Ralph Sangster added:
“We’ve got a strong track record of sound financial management in Hertfordshire and getting on top of potential issues early, but we can’t be complacent. There have been a number of recent high profile examples of nearby authorities, where finances haven’t been so carefully managed, and core council services have been affected.
“Our recent budget consultation showed that the majority of residents who responded (67% - up nearly 10% from last year), would rather see council tax increases than service reductions. While we would prefer not to place this extra burden on council tax payers, we have a responsibility to do the best for all of our residents, particularly those who most need our support.”
Council tax bills for the new financial year will be issued by Hertfordshire’s district councils from the beginning of March. You can find out more about how we spend your council tax on our website www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/counciltax.