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Council tax set at 2.99% to maintain wide range of services

North Herts Council building

In line with the majority of other district and borough councils in Hertfordshire and England, the North Herts Council portion of council tax will rise by 2.99%. This means the North Herts element of the council tax bill for a band D property will increase by £7.55, from £252.46 to £260.01.

Council tax bills will be issued to households in March, and include details of how money is allocated between North Herts Council (which gets just under 12%), Hertfordshire County Council, (76.7%), Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner (11.4%) and any parish or town councils in your area.

Pie chart showing how council tax is divided - 11.9% to North Herts, 11.4% to police and 76.7% to Herts County

Your council tax enables North Herts Council to:

  • collect recycling and waste from over 58,000 households
  • clean over 400 miles of streets
  • maintain 100 hectares of parks and greenspaces
  • run Letchworth, Hitchin and Royston leisure centres
  • maintain Letchworth and Hitchin outdoor pools and four splash parks in the district
  • provide housing advice and homelessness support, including temporary accommodation needs.

The budget for the next financial year, April 2024 to March 2025, was approved by councillors at last night’s Full Council meeting (Thursday 29 February).

Recent and future budget projects include:

  • £10k for additional bee corridors
  • £100k awarded in community investment grants to local organisations which have a sustainable and measurable impact on the local area/people
  • £350k renovation of two skateparks in Hitchin and Royston – due to be completed this summer
  • £400k for Oughtonhead Weir in Hitchin – work to remove the weir and landscape the area to maintain or improve the water quality of the chalk stream will start imminently
  • £1million for a gym extension at Royston Leisure Centre – we will also be investigating the feasibility of building a learner pool at Royston
  • £7.75million funding has been secured from the Government Department for Energy Security and Net Zero to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon at all three of our leisure centres across the district.

Cllr Elizabeth Dennis, Leader of the Council, and the District Councils’ Network spokesperson for finance & investment, said: “As we confirm our budget for the coming financial year, it is clear that we, alongside all other local councils, have difficult times ahead. The government has cut funding to our district by almost £6million in real terms since 2010. If the government doesn’t address the growing financial crisis facing councils soon it will leave us having to make extremely difficult decisions this time next year. We’re determined to do as much as we can to keep delivering our services to our residents and minimise the impact that these growing pressures from central government could have on the hard-working people of North Herts in the future.”

Cllr Ian Albert, Executive Member for Finance, said: “We’re using around £1.7million of reserves to achieve a balanced budget in 2024/25, which is coming from previous business rate gains. We take a prudent approach where we don’t budget for in-year business rate gains, but release them, as they are needed, after they have been achieved. While we are pleased to be in the position where we can continue to deliver key services and invest in our district, these reserves are not endless, and the government urgently needs to address the growing financial crisis facing councils and come up with a long-term plan to sufficiently fund local services through multi-year settlements.”

Cllr Ruth Brown, deputy Leader of the Council, added: “Securing nearly £8million of external funding to decarbonise our leisure centres is fantastic news and is a significant step towards meeting our net zero goal. Our leisure centres are well used, and help generate much-needed income, so this is a great investment for residents and the council alike, to sustain these facilities well into the future.”

As we look at our 2025/26 budget, significant savings will need to be made, and we want you to tell us what you think. A budget consultation hub will be launched – please sign up now: Consultations

Last year we introduced a new council tax reduction scheme which means the lowest income households in the district do not need to pay any council tax at all: Discounts, exemptions and refunds

If you are struggling with the cost of living check out our a one-stop source of help and information: Easing The Squeeze

If you are in crisis, please call HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044.

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