Guide to the council budget
Herefordshire Council's budget maintains financial stability, delivers efficiencies and supports investment in priority services, while demonstrating value for money and maintaining service quality with reducing resources. The council has a medium term financial strategy to 2020/21 where £19 million of savings have been identified in response to continued central government funding reductions.
Herefordshire Council Tax rose by 4.9 percent in 2018/19, this included a 2 percent precept to fund growing adult social care needs. Herefordshire has added pressure in this area, with a higher than average proportion of people in the county over the age of retirement.
Continued reduced funding
Funding from Central Government continued to reduce in 2018/19 (a loss of £5 million from the council's budget), however, we continue to rise to the austerity challenge by targeting significant savings of £96 million between 2010 and 2021 while delivering successful projects to boost the local economy including major public realm improvements to Hereford city centre, continuing the roll out of faster broadband and the growing number of businesses operating from the Hereford Enterprise Zone.
Adult care precept
The Secretary of State for The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government continued with its offer to councils with adult social care responsibilities, of the option to charge a 'precept' on Council Tax without holding a referendum, to help meet rising expenditure on adult social care. The option of charging this precept each financial year is available, up to a threshold of 6 percent over the years 2017-20.
For 2018, the Secretary of State determined (and House of Commons approved) a referendum principle of 6 percent (comprising 3 percent for expenditure on adult social care and 3 percent for other expenditure), for adult social care authorities. These authorities may therefore increase Council Tax up to this percentage in 2018/19 without holding a referendum.
The council budget ensures that corporate and service plans are developed in the context of available resources and that those resources are allocated in line with corporate priorities set out in the Corporate Plan. Herefordshire's key priority areas are to:
- Keep children and young people safe and give them a great start in life
- Enable residents to live safe, healthy and independent lives
- Support the growth of our economy and
- Secure better service, quality of life and value for money