Hertfordshire County Council Unveils Budget Proposals for 2024/25

Herts County Hall

Hertfordshire County Council has published their draft budget for the next financial year. The Integrated Plan details how the council will continue to spend more than £1 billion on services that touch the lives of all residents and protect the most vulnerable while tackling expected shortfalls in funding.

To maintain, improve and protect services the County Council is boosting spending by £98 million to £1.1 billion but, due to an estimated £59m shortfall in funding to pay for it, the council is proposing to utilise £13m of reserves in the next year while commencing an ambitious programme of efficiencies and service transformation totalling £46 million to deliver a balanced budget. To help bridge the funding gap, the County Council is also proposing to increase Council Tax by 4.99% (including 2% to support Adult Social Care) in April.

The plan for the coming financial year outlines investments in services including:

  • Nearly half a billion pounds will be spent supporting 30,000 adults to live well for longer, including £31 million investment to support those providing care and increase care worker pay.
  • Just over quarter of a billion pounds will be spent on children’s services, including £18m of additional investment to ensure we can continue to support Children Looked After and children with disabilities plus £7m investment in the Making SEND Everyone’s Business improvement programme – an extra £2m.
  • £80m will be spent on highways and transport, including the continuation of the two-year £7.9m revenue funding for highways network improvements, with a focus on vegetation clearing, sign cleaning, litter clearance, drainage and footway patching.
  • £19m of additional capital investment in highways maintenance over the next two years to fix and protect Hertfordshire’s roads.
  • £2.7m capital investment to improve facilities and accessibility at Hertfordshire’s fire stations.

Councillor Richard Roberts, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council said: ‘From keeping Hertfordshire moving to helping residents who need the most support, we’ll be spending over a billion pounds delivering services across Hertfordshire and focussing on what really matters to you.

‘Despite years of prudent financial planning, increased demand for services and rising costs mean we now need to access our reserves and make significant savings to balance the budget and ensure we continue to maintain, improve and protect services.

‘We’ll continue to lobby government for additional funds, particularly in relation to supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities where we continue to be significantly under-funded compared to other councils, but we’ll also do everything we can to alleviate our tax burden on you by making ourselves as streamlined and efficient as possible.’

The county council is now seeking the views of residents on the proposed budget and are invited to shared their feedback by completing the survey by 28 January at: IP Survey 2024-25 (hertfordshire.gov.uk)