Published Friday, 10th February 2023
At its Full Council meeting last night (9 February 2023) Reigate & Banstead Borough Council approved next financial year’s budget.
As part of the budget, an annual increase of £7.25 for the average household to Reigate & Banstead's element of Council Tax was agreed, as well as an extensive programme of capital investment funding.
Focus on people, services and financial self-sufficiency
Leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, Cllr Mark Brunt, said: “Every time we set a new annual budget, we work very hard to make the most of the resources we have. It continues to be an unpredictable and difficult time in local government, with ongoing and new challenges. This year’s budget tackles these challenges and prioritises the vital services our communities need, alongside investing in future opportunities.
“Once again, we have had to make some tough budget decisions to make sure local people, places and our economy continue to thrive. The increase in our share of Council Tax, an extra 14p a week for the average household, helps deliver our 50+ services, from community centres, greenspaces, household waste and recycling collections to licensing, environmental health and planning.
“I also want to thank everyone who gave us their valuable feedback in the public consultation about the budget. We will continue to work hard towards becoming financially self-sufficient, maintaining our strong financial position and delivering our Reigate & Banstead 2025 five-year plan, to benefit everyone who lives in or does business in our borough.”
Proactive approach to managing pressures
Like all local authorities we face many financial pressures. These include no core funding from central government since 2017, the current economic slowdown and significant price inflation.
Our budget for 2023/24 manages these challenges proactively, taking into account what it means for residents, businesses and partners. This includes increasing some budgets and reducing others by making savings or increasing income from fees and charges. Also identifying opportunities to generate more income from services such as the Harlequin Theatre & Cinema, Redhill. Any income we receive is reinvested and used to enable continued delivery of our many different services.
Balanced budget – savings, support and investments
Setting a balanced budget means we are in a good financial position for the year ahead. At its meeting on 9 February, the Council set a revenue budget requirement of £23.194 million for 2023/24. This includes increased service budget savings of £0.828 million, almost double last year’s annual savings amount.
Our ongoing Council-wide Financial Sustainability Programme, established to help fast track our work on financial self-sufficiency, will continue to help us address future challenges and identify more savings and sources of income.
The latest budget also puts aside approximately £0.150 million of the money collected in our share of Council Tax into a separate reserve, to help those residents who may need extra support with the cost of living.
The Council also agreed significant funding for schemes across the borough in the Capital Programme of £59.899 million for 2023/24 to 2027/28, which includes an overall investment increase of £7.672 million. This money will be used for projects such as improving playgrounds, vehicle replacement and building maintenance.
Council Tax - providing value for money
Although the Council collects all local Council Tax, for every pound received only 11p goes to Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, 75p goes to Surrey County Council (including Surrey Fire and Rescue) and 14p to Surrey Police.
In 2023/24, this means that a typical household will pay £249.71 a year for the wide range of services that we provide - about £4.78 a week.
Residents who live in Horley or Salfords and Sidlow, will pay a little extra for their services.
For details about the help and support available for anyone finding it difficult to pay their Council Tax visit our Cost of living website section.
Public feedback and more details
Before finalising the budget, the Council ran an eight-week public consultation on the draft proposals. The comments received and the potential impact were carefully considered in the final 2023/24 budget.