- Today a public budget consultation for Hertfordshire is launched to canvass opinions from as many people as possible
- Hertfordshire County Council will consider the results of the public consultation alongside the flexibility government has offered in terms of increased council tax when setting the budget for next year (April 2023 to March 2024)
The council has been explicit and upfront throughout the Autumn about its budget position and the impact of inflationary pressures on the day-to-day costs of services. This year due to this close control and financial forecasting it has been able to manage the in-year potential over-spend of £23.5million.
The leader of the council has lobbied for the county via the Local Government Association, County Council’s Network, working with MPs and directly to Government to make it plain that an enhanced financial settlement is essential in order to keep the vital services running for the people of Hertfordshire.
Today the government has announced that it will allow flexibility for council tax. The level of council tax and the government settlement when it is confirmed will be discussed throughout January at public panel meetings and decided in the February 2023 Full Council.
Councillor Richard Roberts, Leader of Hertfordshire County Council said: ‘We welcome that central government has listened to local government with its grants to support health and social care. This recognises it is vital to maintain services for vulnerable residents.
‘We will bring the strength of our partners and great working relationships with the NHS through the Integrated Care System, our District and Borough colleagues, and the voluntary sector to ensure that our council remains strong, vibrant, and confident to deliver for the people of Hertfordshire.
‘With the amazing effort of our fantastic staff, we know we can still run great services. There will no doubt be difficult decisions we will have to make for the next financial year, but we know almost £1billion pounds of taxpayers’ money will be spent delivering the key services our residents rely on. This includes providing essential adult and children’s social care services; responding to more than 10,000 fire and rescue calls every year; and maintaining our 3,200 miles of road. And we won’t stop working towards the vision we set out in the corporate plan to create a cleaner, greener, healthier Hertfordshire.
‘I encourage every single person to complete our budget consultation because we want to hear your views on how we can make the fairest decisions possible as we develop our budget plans.’
The budget survey is open to everyone who lives and works in Hertfordshire and can be found here www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/budgetsurvey. The deadline for submissions is 18 December.