Published Friday, 11th February 2022
At its Full Council meeting last night (10 February 2022) Reigate & Banstead Borough Council approved next financial year’s budget.
The budget was agreed alongside a Council Tax annual increase of £5 for the average household and an extensive programme of capital investment funding.
Balanced budget – with savings, investment and public input
Reigate & Banstead has a strong track record of responsible financial management. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, the Council was forced to fundamentally review its medium-term financial plan and find ways to reduce the level of spending to offset new financial pressures. The overall balanced budget achieves this proactively, increasing some budgets and reducing others by cutting costs, pausing some planned expenditure and/or finding new sources of income.
At its meeting on 10 February, the Council set a revenue budget requirement of £19.980 million for 2022/23. This includes service budget savings of £0.430 million and service budget growth to accommodate Government funding reductions of £0.115 million and parking income losses of £1.100 million.
It also agreed significant funding for schemes across the borough in the Capital Programme of £45.297 million for 2022/23 to 2026/27, which includes an overall investment increase of £4.993 million. This money will be used for projects such as improving playgrounds, vehicle replacement and building maintenance.
Before finalising the budget, the Council ran an eight-week consultation on the draft proposals that was also accompanied by Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs). The Council has a statutory duty to consider any equality implications as part of its decision-making process, and the consultation results and final EIAs were carefully considered in the 2022/23 budget.
As a result of the consultation and further review, the proposal to withdraw the taxi voucher budget was revised. This service will now continue for existing recipients only, meaning residents already using taxi vouchers will still be able to use these to help them remain independent and mobile.
Council Tax - continuing to provide value for money
Although the Council collects all Council Tax, for every pound paid only 11p goes to Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, 75p goes to Surrey County Council (including Surrey Fire and Rescue) with 14p going to Surrey Police. Our share helps us to deliver more than 50 different services to our 148,700 residents and 7,100 businesses.
At its meeting, the Council agreed a £5.00 Band D equivalent (2.11%) annual increase in Council Tax for 2022/23. This means that a typical household will pay £242.46 a year for all the services that we provide - about £4.57 a week and only 10p a week more than last year.
Focus on high-quality services and future opportunities
Leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, Cllr Mark Brunt said: “Every year, we set a new budget to make the most of our resources, so we can continue to provide high-quality services and invest in the future. The Council had to make some difficult decisions about its spending plans for the next year as a result of the pandemic and its impact.
“Despite these challenges, we agreed a balanced budget that allows us to focus on delivering our five-year plan, expanding our environmental sustainability efforts, delivering affordable housing, supporting the most vulnerable in our communities and helping the local economy thrive. The increase in our share of Council Tax, by about 10p a week for the average household, also helps pay for the wide range of services the Council delivers, including household waste and recycling collections, greenspaces, community centres, environmental health and planning.
“To meet the current and future challenges, we will continue our work to maintain a strong financial position and develop the Council’s strategy to generate new sources of income and be more efficient, aiming towards becoming financially self-sufficient.
“At the Full Council meeting on 10 February, I was also very pleased to confirm that the Council has been offered £1.7m of Social Housing Decarbonisation funding to support improvements to the energy efficiency of homes in Reigate & Banstead and Surrey Heath, working with our social housing partners Raven and Accent”.
For the Council meeting Revenue Budget, Council Tax and Capital Programme full reports and accompanying details visit our website