Adur District Council reveals how it will avoid large council tax increase
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‘New ways of working’ are being designed to allow Adur District Council to maintain public services without the need for significant council tax rises.
“The council’s draft revenue budget for 2024/25 sets out how a rise of 2.99 per cent would be enough to balance its books if services for the community are redesigned,” a spokesperson for the council said.
"The average Band D council charge payable to the council has increased by just £50 over the last 10 years, to £324 for the current financial year. A 2.99 per cent rise next year would add £9.72 a year to the bill – the equivalent of less than 19p per week."
The council said it is facing ‘tight financial restrictions’ caused by a reduction in central government funding and ‘increasing pressure outside of its control’ from inflation and cost of living challenges.
The council said this is an issue faced by ‘every other local authority in the country’.
A spokesperson added: “We are continuing to prioritise spending through new tighter controls on expenditure and postponing or cancelling some work in favour of funding frontline services for the community.
"A report to be considered by Adur’s cabinet on February 1 sets out where a service redesign in the council will allow £891,000 to be saved next year.”
The council said the redesign will include: ‘reducing the need’ to use agency staff and contractors; reviewing contracts, ‘making greater use’ of digital to improve council processes; and cutting print and postage expenditure, as well as continuing to generate income.
“The organisation has a strong track record in delivering savings in these areas, in particular on the use of digital and contracts,” the council added.
"The continued pressure on the council’s housing service from more residents needing to be found somewhere to live means the budget for the housing needs team would increase.
"There would also be more investment in economic development to encourage business growth and regeneration across the district.”
The council said the budget ‘proposes increases in some fees and charges’ – including beach hut rents and the collection of bulky waste and commercial waste.
There would be no increase in green waste collection charges, to encourage more residents to use the service rather than driving to the tip, the council explained.
The council will borrow £1.65m to create a new sports pavilion for Buckingham Park in Shoreham using government money ‘repayable at a lower interest rate’. It also hopes to work with West Sussex County Council ‘to invest in community improvements’ in Lancing.
Funds will also be set aside to rebuild the council’s reserves.
The draft revenue budget will be considered by Adur’s cabinet from 6.30pm on February 1 at the Shoreham Centre. To read the report, visit https://democracy.adur-worthing.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=138&MId=1946.