Published Monday, 20th November 2023
An eight-week consultation starts today (20 November) on Reigate & Banstead Borough Council’s draft budget for the financial year 2024/25.
We invite residents, businesses and partners to give us their views before the consultation ends at 12 noon on Monday 15 January 2024.
A strong track record, but ongoing challenges
The Council has a strong track record of financial management and provides over 50 different services to our 151,400 residents – everything from waste & recycling collections, street cleaning and homelessness services to business support and community safety.
Like all local authorities, we face continuing and new financial pressures, due to a combination of factors. These include no direct central government funding since 2017, and the impact of ongoing high levels of cost inflation.
This means that every year we need to budget carefully.
At its meeting on 16 November, the Council’s Executive approved the public consultation on the Council’s draft budget for 2024/25.
This draft balanced budget is based on a full assessment of current council budgets and future financial opportunities and pressures. It also reflects the Council’s financial sustainability programme, looking at four key areas: income generation, use of assets, prioritisation of resources and achieving value for money.
Your chance to help inform the final budget
Leader of the Council, Cllr Richard Biggs, says: “Now we have published our draft proposals for a balanced budget for the coming year, we want to hear your views.
“Your responses will help inform the final Council budget for 2024/25, which will be agreed at a meeting of the Full Council in February 2024.
“Every year, we work hard to deliver services for our communities. The external funding we receive is limited and the Council continues to face pressures from continuing high cost inflation and higher interest rates, so we need to look at where we can make savings without affecting services and how we can generate more income.
“We hope that our proposals strike the right balance, but now is the time to let us know what you think.”
The draft budget includes service budget growth proposals totalling £0.943 million, income and savings of £1.719 million and additional fees and charges of £0.540 million. With central budgets factored in (including staff pay, price increases and technical changes required to the budget) we are proposing – overall – unavoidable growth of £3.343 million, offset by additional income and cost savings of £3.304 million. The budget also recognises that we also face continued risks relating to Government funding for housing benefits that may cost up to £0.964 million and would require a call on Reserves to make good the shortfall.
As we consult on our draft budget, we are also supporting the Local Government Association campaign, Save Local Services, which calls on Government to provide adequate, longer-term funding for local government. Councils - such as Reigate & Banstead – need greater certainty about our future funding to ensure that we can continue to provide essential services to residents in the future.
How to have your say
The draft budget consultation will run from Monday 20 November 2023 to 12 noon on Monday 15 January 2024.
You can comment by:
- Completing our online survey at www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/budget-consultation,
- Emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Writing to us at FREEPOST RBBC CONSULTATIONS (no address needed)
You can view the relevant documents and supporting information via the Consultation web page www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/budget-consultation.
Another way to feed back for some fees and charges
Some of our fees and charges require a separate statutory consultation. You can also give us your views on car park charges and taxi/private hire vehicle and operator licencing fees via these separate consultations which will be available soon via our Consultations web page www.reigate-banstead.gov.uk/open-consultations.