Press Release from Herefordshire Council:

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.”