Hertsmere Borough Council’s revenue budget for the next financial year (2021/2022), with a firm focus on COVID-19 recovery, was approved at a recent Full Council meeting (Wednesday, February 24).
Despite 12 months of unprecedented pressures on council services, a balanced budget was presented to the meeting and an average increase of £5 per household for Hertsmere Borough Council’s share of council tax bills was agreed, the same rise as last year.
A household in a Band D property will pay an average of £187 in council tax to Hertsmere Borough Council for its services for the year 2021/22- which equates to around 51p per day.
That money is used to fund services including waste and recycling; planning; housing; parks and open spaces; street cleaning and environmental health; benefits administration and contributions towards Police Community Support Officers and the Citizens Advice Bureau.
Portfolio holder for finance and property, councillor John Graham, outlined the budget at the meeting and reflected on an incredibly challenging year.
Cllr Graham commented: “The overall picture is that we are delivering a break-even budget not dissimilar to the budget agreed by this council last February but in a much different manner than envisaged.
“The favourable balance is not really a surplus but more of a timing difference. We are using it as such, carrying it forward into next year as money in hand to cover risks arising in 2021/22. So overall after a bumpy year, a sound outcome.
“A great deal of hard work has gone in to delivering this prudent budget which will ensure that we can continue to provide our residents and businesses with excellent essential services.
“This was a particularly challenging task this year given the extra demands on our services and the complex funding positions to support COVID-19 recovery.
“I am confident that this carefully considered budget will help to steer Hertsmere through the COVID-19 recovery period and maintain our finances on a firm footing.”
Full details of the budget can be viewed on the full council meeting’s agenda at item number 6 hertsmere.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=106&MId=10798&Ver=4