The proposed budget for 2024/25 was today (9 February) approved at a meeting of full Council.

Like many other councils across the country, Herefordshire Council is facing significant financial challenges. This is mainly because of rising costs due to inflation and the increased demand for both adult and children’s social care services. The budget set today addresses these challenges and includes many positives for the county.

The budget for 2024/25 will be £210.5 million. As part of the efforts to balance the budget it includes total council tax increase of 4.99% (2.99% increase in core council tax and a 2% adult social care precept), along with £19.5million savings and efficiencies across council services.

Highlights of the budget include money allocated for: 

  • strategic housing development (£1 million),
  • a cancellation of the planned general parking charge increase (£0.4 million),
  • additional investment in the Leominster Heritage Action Zone (£0.3 million),
  • funding to assist the community and voluntary sector (£0.200 million)
  • funding for Officer support to Parish and Town Councils (£0.056 million),
  • further investment to maintain Library opening hours (£0.055 million)
  • a transfer to the Financial Resilience earmarked reserve (£0.500 million).

Alongside this the additional Rural Services Delivery Grant of £0.945 million will be allocated:

  • to boost funding for the Lengthsman Scheme (£0.250 million),
  • to address the backlog of repairs on the Public Rights of Way Network (£0.250 million)
  • to address drainage issues in rural areas (£0.445 million).

Councillor Jonathan Lester, Leader Herefordshire Council said: “Given the financial position many councils across the country are facing, to be able to pass a balanced budget is a significant achievement. It hasn’t been easy and we’ve had to take some tough decisions, but we’re confident this budget will support the long term prosperity of Herefordshire and its residents.

“During the budget process we have listened to residents, businesses and councillors. As a result we were able to put forward a budget that gained the support of councillors across the political spectrum and which cancels the planned increases in general parking charges and provides further investment for our Lengthsman Scheme, the Public Rights of Way network and drainage on our roads.

“On top of this we will be delivering a £13 million highway improvement plan in the upcoming financial year to help address the poor state of our roads.”

More information can be found in the meeting papers.

Published: 9th February 2024