TAXPAYERS in Lutterworth will not face any increases in Harborough District Council’s (HDC) share of Council Tax as it publishes its final 2024-25 Budget and Medium-Term Financial Strategy for 2026-29.
The council has proposed to freeze its portion of Council Tax this year – and also proposes to freeze green bin charges and car parking charges while repeating last year’s free car parking on Saturdays in December.
Having previously proposed to raise its share of the tax by an average of around £5 a year per household, HDC says the new proposals have been made possible by additional business rates income from the Magna Park industrial estate, along with a government grant which recognises housing growth.
The council plans to continue with its Capital Programme over the next four years, which will see investment in local projects including the development of Lutterworth Town Centre Heritage Action Zone, a £1million refurbishment of Lutterworth leisure centre, and potential investment into solar farms and temporary homeless provision.
Other investments outlined on the budget include new resources for planning enforcement and compliance, sandbag supplies for parishes at risk of flooding, adding two vehicles to the ageing domestic waste collection fleet, £1million of grants for parishes, and the new Local Plan 2020-2041 to ensure the district is protected from speculative development.
Budget has also been allocated for the procurement of the authority’s new waste contract and to progress the council’s strategy to become Net Zero by 2030.
The council now forecasts a surplus from 2024 to 2026 and then a deficit for 2026-27 and each year thereafter. In the draft budget proposals the funding gap was expected to be £7.5million up to 2028-29 but, following the unexpected income from business rates and additional government funding, this is now anticipated to be around £3.5million.
This remaining budget gap is due to a predicted shortfall in government funding and losses of government grant.
HDC’s resources spokesman Coun Mark Graves said: “Despite there being inevitable challenges ahead due to reductions in central government funding, we are carefully balancing the need to save for the future and set aside reserves to meet future years’ deficits whilst delivering our priorities for communities.”
Visit www.harborough.gov.uk/budget-consultation for more information, or to provide feedback on the budget before the deadline of 9am on February 12.