Crawley Borough Council sets balanced draft budget for 2024/25
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A meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday (January 31) evening approved the £17.9 million income and spending plan.
It will go before a meeting of the Full Council on February 21, along with the housing and capital investment plans.
The proposed Council Tax increase for Crawley Borough Council’s share of what is paid by every home is 2.99 per cent. This is a £6.76 annual increase for a band D property – 13p per week.
Total Council Tax income will provide about £8.5 million over the year. However, there is a projected £5.25 million bill for temporary accommodation, mostly caused by no-fault evictions of families from privately rented homes, coupled with underfunding of Housing Benefit by government.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Michael Jones, said: “The Cabinet and senior officers have done a superb job to present a balanced budget despite the pressures we face, while many other councils are taking extreme measures.
“We are trying to keep the costs of what we charge people and businesses in Crawley to a minimum, but the reality is that while government underfunds the whole local government sector we need to explore every source of income.”
Rents on council-managed homes are proposed to increase by 7.7 per cent, and service charges will increase to match cost rises. About £1 million will be drawn down from the reserve to supplement next year’s income. New tenants in the upper floors of the Town Hall will contribute to a growth in revenue.
Although Crawley Borough Council is responsible for collecting Council Tax, it actually passes most of it on. Last year, for every pound collected, West Sussex County Council took 77.8p, Sussex Police took 11.4p, and Crawley retained just 10.8p.
West Sussex County Council is proposing a rise of £81.54 on a band D property (4.99 per cent), which will be debated at its meeting on 16 February.