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Business ratepayer consultation for 2024/25 budget

At the Full Council meeting on Thursday 29 February 2024 a budget will be considered and agreed for the 2024/25 year (the Council's financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March). This will include both a revenue budget and a capital budget, and in each case will also consider spend in future years.

The Council is required to split its spend between revenue (spend on every day running costs) and capital (the acquisition and improvement of the assets it owns that will last for more than one year).

Reports and proposals

The budget will be recommended to the Full Council meeting by the Council’s Cabinet (Executive) - you can read the relevant reports here.

  • Revenue Budget: Item 10
  • Capital Budget (note: this also includes the proposed treasury strategy): Item 5


Since the start of the government’s austerity programme in 2010, the Council has delivered over £9m of savings on its revenue budget. We are still seeing a reduction in our parking income compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic. Like everyone else, we have also been dealing with the impacts of high inflation on pay and especially contract costs. We continue to face uncertainty over our future funding. In the coming year we are expecting to have to use around £2m of reserves (mainly from previous years retained Business Rates being above our forecasts) to balance our budget. In the medium term (depending on forecasts) we expect that we will need to identify more than £2.5m of annual cost savings / additional income generation.

During this financial year (2024/25), we will be part of a Business Rate Pool which should mean that we can retain more of the Business Rates that we collect, rather than them going to central government. But this is only a short-term arrangement and provides no certainty about increased funding going forward, which means that in future years we are forecasting that we will only retain around 6% of the Business Rates that we collect.

Over a number of years the Council has funded its capital spend from the money it has received from selling assets, particularly the transfer of its housing stock in 2003. It is now forecast that there will be a need to borrow money to fund capital spend in future. This means that there will be revenue costs relating to interest and the requirement to set aside money to repay the borrowing. Therefore, the Council has to continue to review its capital programme to ensure that it delivers Council priorities.

The Council Plan for 2022-27 determines three key priorities of People First, Sustainability and a brighter future together. It is also based around four themes, including our local economy. Reducing resources means that the Council can’t afford to do everything that it wants to do, but it does adopt policy lead budgeting. This means that it will reflect its objectives when considering and setting budgets.