A revised proposed revenue budget for 2024/25 has been agreed by Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet.

Like many other councils across the country, Herefordshire Council is facing significant financial challenges.

This is mainly because of rising costs due to inflation and the increased demand for both adult and children’s social care services.

A draft revenue budget was proposed in early December 2023, which was considered by members of the Council, the council’s scrutiny committees, residents and businesses.

The revised budget proposal agreed by Cabinet today has taken account of the recommendations and feedback received, as well as the allocation of additional funding in the form of:

An additional £2.511 Million announced in the Local Government Settlement shortly before Christmas;

A ring fenced social care increase of £1.835 million announced on the 24th January; and

£0.945 million from the Rural Services Delivery Grant which was also announced on 24th January.

The revised budget for 2024/25 will be £210.5 million. 

As part of the efforts to balance the budget it assumes a total council tax increase of 4.99% (2.99% increase in core council tax and a 2% adult social care precept), along with £19 million savings and efficiencies across council services.

At its meeting today (Thursday 25 January) Cabinet agreed for the additional £2.511 million to be used to support priorities including; strategic housing development (£1 million), a cancellation of the planned general parking charge increase (£0.4 million), additional investment in the Leominster Heritage Action Zone (£0.3 million), funding to assist the community and voluntary sector (£0.200 million) funding for Officer support to Parish and Town Councils (£0.056 million), further investment to maintain Library opening hours (£0.055 million) and a transfer to the Financial Resilience earmarked reserve (£0.500 million).

It was proposed and agreed that the additional Rural Services Delivery Grant of £0.945 million be allocated to boost funding for the Lengthsman Scheme (£0.250 million), address the backlog of repairs on the Public Rights of Way Network (£0.250 million) and address drainage issues in rural areas (£0.445 million).

The Cabinet also agreed to allocate the entire social care funding of £1.835 million to an in year “Social Care Resilience Reserve” which will provide vital support, if needed, for our demand led services.

The revised proposed budget 2024/25 will be recommended to Full Council for approval at its budget meeting on Friday 9 February 2024.

Councillor Jonathan Lester, Leader Herefordshire Council said: 

“Given the financial position many councils across the country are facing, to be able to propose a balanced budget is a significant achievement.

“It hasn’t been easy and we have had to take some tough decisions, but we’re confident our proposals will maintain Herefordshire Council’s financial viability in the years ahead.

“During the consultation process we have listened to residents, businesses and councillors. As a result, this has allowed us to bring forward a revised budget proposal to full council which cancels the planned increases in general parking charges and provides further investment for our Lengthsman Scheme, the Public Rights of Way network and drainage on our roads.”

You can get money off your Council Tax bill, or even pay nothing, in certain circumstances.

A discount or exemption depends on your current situation and circumstances, but does not take account of income or savings.

If you are on a low income, you may also be able to get help to pay your bill through Council Tax Reduction

The Council will need to assess your financial and other circumstances to see what help you qualify for.

There are also some properties that are exempt from Council Tax

This section provides further information on the types of discount available, including:

Single person discount

Disabled person reduction

Carer or care worker discount

Student discount or exemption

Apprentice discount

Person aged 18 and eligible for child benefit discount

Patient in care home or hospital discount or exemption

Severe mental impairment discount

Person in detention or prison discount

Religious community discount

You may be able to have other reductions on your Council Tax bill as follows:

Care leaver discount

Foster carer discount

Ministry of Defence’s Council Tax Relief

Job related second home discount

If you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax, regardless of whether or not you receive Council Tax Reduction, the council may be able to reduce the amount you have to pay.

Your Council Tax is made up of two parts. Half for the property (50 percent) and half based on two adults over the age of 18 living in the property (50 percent).

If only one person lives at a property they can get their Council Tax reduced by 25 percent (1 quarter)

If two people live at a property they will be charged the full rate of Council Tax

If three people live at a property they will be charged the same – the full rate of Council Tax

If some of those people are eligible for discounts, they can apply to get money off their Council Tax. In these examples we talk about student discounts.

If only one person lives at a property and they are a student they will not have to pay any Council Tax

If two people live at a property and one of them is a student, they will get 25 percent off their Council Tax bill

If three people live at a property and one of them is a student, they will be charged the full rate of Council Tax

If three people live at a property and two of them are students, they will get 25 percent off their Council Tax

If three people live at a property and they are all students, they will not have to pay any Council Tax  

You get 25 percent off your Council Tax bill if:

  • You live on your own or
  • You live with other people but they are all under 18

Apply or cancel single person discount online

If you cannot apply online you will need to download an application to complete.

You can email the completed form to at counciltax@herefordshire.gov.uk

If you live with other people who are aged 18 or over you may be able to get money off your Council Tax bill in other ways.

Further Details – https://yourherefordshire.co.uk/all/news/news-people-in-prison-single-people-the-disabled-and-students-and-just-some-of-the-people-who-could-be-entitled-to-a-council-tax-discount/