Your Money, Your Say – WNC Budget 2024/25 Consultation Ending Soon
11 January 2024
Residents, businesses and community groups in West Northants have until midnight on Tuesday, 23 January to share their views on the draft budget proposals for 2024/25.
At the Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, 12 December 2023 members approved for consultation its draft budget for 2024-25 and launched a six-week consultation seeking people’s views on a range of saving and efficiency proposals which will allow the West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) to balance its books, while protecting the most vulnerable in our community and tackling the rise in costs and demand for services.
People can have their say on the budget proposals by completing the survey on our Consultation Hub. The survey can be accessed online for free at libraries across West Northants, or you can request a copy in another format by emailing [email protected] or phoning 0300 126 7000.
We have worked hard to shape a robust, balanced draft budget that prioritises our resources to support our most vulnerable residents and protect frontline services in the most cost-effective way possible.Cllr Malcolm Longley, Cabinet Member for Finance at West Northamptonshire Council
Your feedback is very important to us, as it empowers us to make informed decisions and drive positive changes in our communities. So, please take the time to tell us what you think. You don’t have to answer all of the questions or provide feedback on every section, you can choose to focus on the areas that are most important to you.
The budget proposals for next year are made up of a £409.2m net revenue budget (excluding grant-funded schools' expenditure of £451m) and also include £25.7m of efficiencies through planned improvements in productivity and additional income generation.
To help WNC balance the books whilst continuing to protect services during its fourth year as a unitary authority, the draft budget proposals include:
- Increasing fees and charges broadly in line with inflation, to ensure they continue to properly reflect today’s operating costs.
- Proposing to raise Council Tax by 4.99% This increase equates to an average rise of £1.63 a week on a Band D property.
- Continuing to review services and restructure teams within the organisation, introducing new, more efficient ways of working to make back-office savings without impacting on how services are delivered to residents.
During 2024/25 the Council also plans to invest a total of almost £143m in its capital programme, to improve local infrastructure and assets such as land, buildings and equipment.
It is also set to spend an estimated £20m in public health funding from the Government in the year ahead to progress a range of schemes aimed at improving residents’ wellbeing, reducing health inequalities and continuing to support communities through the ongoing cost of living challenges.
Within the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) there are plans to invest £54m of capital funds in social housing during the next financial year, which forms part of a total five-year capital programme which amounts to £279m. Also built into the plans is investment in decarbonisation which is estimated to impact on 500 homes.
The capital investment in 2024-25 includes:
- £7m on external improvements
- £11m on internal works improvements
- £2.3m on disabled adaptations
- £24m on new build programmes and major projects; and
- £10m on buying back social housing and for spot purchases of suitable properties.
In addition to this the Council will spend approximately £65m on managing and maintaining the existing housing stock which is funded primarily by Housing Rents received from current tenants.
To ensure this can be achieved, the draft budget proposals include an increase in rents in our rented housing of 7.7% in line with the Government’s amended Rent Standard.
Cabinet will consider the final budget for 2024/25 on Tuesday, 13 February 2024 for recommendation to the full Council meeting on Thursday, 22 February 2024; subject to any changes made following consideration of the consultation feedback, the Local Government financial settlement and the latest financial position.