Draft budget for 2024/2025 proposed

Hart District Council office entrance with orange and yellow flowers in foreground

Hart District Council’s Cabinet has put forward its draft revenue and capital budget proposals for approval at next week's February Full Council meeting.

In the shadow of a difficult financial landscape for the economy and for many other councils, the draft budget gives a positive outlook for 2024/2025, showing robust and prudent measures. There is also a focus on the sustainability of future budgets into what are likely to be more challenging years. It is hoped that this draft budget will put the Council in a good position for continued financial resilience.

It includes the recommendations for a Council Tax increase in the district element of the charge for residents. The increase has been set at 2.99%. For the average Band D household in Hart, this equates to an extra £5.75 per year from their 2023/2024 bill.

It also sets out plans for increased investment in important services across Hart. This includes addressing housing needs, replacing car park ticket machines, improvements to CCTV, tackling fly-tipping and the effectiveness of community safety.

The Council declared a climate emergency in April 2021 and has committed to becoming a carbon-neutral authority by 2035 and district by 2040. This commitment to tackling climate change is reflected in this draft budget, allowing the Council to make progress towards these goals.

Councillor James Radley, Deputy Leader of Hart District Council and Portfolio Holder for Finance, said: “While many of our neighbouring authorities are facing drastic service cuts or the prospect of depleting reserves, Hart is looking to invest more in services rather than to reduce them. This is testament to our sound financial policies, careful commercial investment initiatives and strong fiscal controls.

“We at Hart must not be complacent, as there are difficult times to come but it is our commitment to manage the Council’s finances efficiently and to best effect for the residents of the district.”

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