Hillingdon Council approves 2022/23 budget that continues to put residents first
Thursday 24 February 2022: Residents are set to benefit from increased investment in frontline services with no cuts and continued investment in facilities and infrastructure, as Hillingdon Council announces a council tax increase well below the rate of inflation.
The budget promises to protect frontline services and there will be further investment in the borough's award-winning services and facilities.
Free weekly waste and recycling collections will continue, as will investment in leisure facilities, road resurfacing, new homes, high quality educational facilities (including creating school places for children with special educational needs), town centre improvements, environmental projects and reducing the council's carbon footprint.
Cllr Martin Goddard, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Finance, said: "Our record of sound financial management continues to put residents first as we set out this balanced budget for the 2022/23 financial year.
"Since we outlined our proposed budget in December we have received confirmation of further government funding, and as a result of this administration's careful financial planning it means that we can support households experiencing rising living costs by reducing the increase in council tax.
"Additionally, we are continuing to protect and invest in the services and facilities that we know residents value."
The council recognises that households nationally are facing higher living costs, so with this additional government funding it was able to reduce the proposed council tax uplift from 2.8 per cent to 1.9 per cent.
That figure is reached from a core council tax increase of 0.9 per cent alongside a 1 per cent levy relating to the social care precept. In real terms for residents, it equates to an increase of 45p a week for a Band D property. However, the Energy Bills Rebate of £150 will give residents in Bands A to D a lower bill than last year.
The majority of fees and charges are being increased in line with inflation.
The council's budget is set to be achieved through a combination of these manageable increases in council tax, fees and charges, along with efficiency savings, all while maintaining and improving services for residents and preserving its reserves.
Along with a number of local authorities across the UK, the council is currently in the very advanced stages of discussions with the Department for Education on a 'safety value' agreement to eliminate a cumulative deficit regarding the Dedicated School Grants.
This deficit is the result of government underfunding in this area over a five-year period and the safety valve process was created to resolve these problems, without risking the financial stability of local authorities.
Highlights of the five-year capital programme include:
• £450 million for housing
• £32 million investment in the borough's road network and transport infrastructure
• £35 million for a new leisure centre in West Drayton
• £3 million to improve the fabric of existing school buildings and £53 million towards the creation of more places for children with special educational needs
• £25 million investment in initiatives to reduce the borough's carbon footprint
• £25 million on replacement outdoor leisure facilities for those displaced by HS2
• £2 million on town centre improvements as part of a £10 million programme
• £12 million for equipment for social care clients
• Continued investment in the council's Chrysalis scheme.