Feedback from the budget consultation will feed into the provisional 2019/20 budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy

Herefordshire Council has published the outcome of the 2019/20 budget consultation, which will be considered throughout the budget setting process for the next financial year.

The budget consultation ran from 5 July – 21 September 2018; residents, businesses, parish councils and partners were asked about proposals to enable the council to deliver a balanced budget in 2019/20.

The following key findings from the consultation will feed into the draft 2019/20 budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy:

  • 51% of respondents thought the council’s proposal to increase Council Tax by 4.9% was about right or not enough;
  • 37% of respondents supported the council increasing its borrowing requirement by £22.3m to increase the level of investment in the county, and 15% supported borrowing more;
  • 78% of respondents agreed that funding should support employing more children’s social workers and to support more help for children, young people and families at an early stage;
  • 56% of respondents stated they did not agree with the allocation of Council Tax spend between services as set out in the consultation, however there was no consensus on alternative ways of allocating resources.

In response, the Cabinet’s proposed 2019/20 budget:

  • Includes a 4.9% proposed council tax increase;
  • Will maintain proposed council borrowing for capital investment; 
  • Will use £1.6m to employ more children’s social workers and to support more help for children, young people and families at an early stage.

The proposed 2019/20 budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy will be presented to the following committees and meetings:

  • 27 November 2018 - Adults and wellbeing scrutiny committee
  • 29 November 2018 - Children and young people scrutiny committee
  • 30 November 2018 - General scrutiny committee
  • 31 January 2019 – Cabinet will consider any recommendations made by the scrutiny committees and agree the draft revenue budget 2019/20, treasury management strategy, capital strategy and medium term financial strategy for recommendation to Council
  • 15 February 2019 – Full Council will agree the council’s revenue budget for 2019/20, treasury management strategy, capital strategy and medium term financial strategy 
  • 8 March 2019 – Full Council sets the council tax precept

The Budget Consultation 2019/20 outcome report is available to view online as part of the 27 November agenda for Adults and Wellbeing Scrutiny committee.

Published: Tuesday, 20th November 2018