Annual Budget announced by Broxbourne

At a full Council meeting held on Tuesday 27 February, Councillor Paul Mason, Broxbourne’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Housing, announced the annual budget for 2024/25, which was agreed unanimously

The Council has agreed an increase in council tax of just £5, with the increase taking the annual charge for a Band D property to £158.24 per year, representing a 3.3% increase which is significantly less than the current rate of inflation of 4.9%.

Although it collects all council tax, Broxbourne Borough Council only keeps 7.6% of the overall amount each household pays.

The remaining amount is divided between Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) which receives 80.4% of the total bill, and the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire (PCC) which receives 12%.

The current funding climate for local authorities is very challenging, and many councils are having to make significant cuts or are effectively bankrupt. However, years of prudent financial planning has left Broxbourne Council in a good position with a balanced budget set without the need for any reductions in service.

The proposals outlined in the budget demonstrate the Council’s commitment to economic development and improving the lives of local residents, whilst ensuring the Council has the resources necessary to deliver quality services across the Borough.

The Council has frozen the one hour parking session and market trader fees in order to encourage more visitors to the Borough’s town centres whilst supporting local businesses. Modest increases in line with inflation or market rates have been applied to all other fees and charges.

Negotiations which will allow the Council to continue to operate the John Warner Sports Centre following the expiry of the twenty-year joint use agreement, are underway and, once concluded, the Council plans to carry out a refurbishment of the Centre to ensure that it remains a vibrant and commercially viable facility for the duration of its lease.  An indicative amount of £4.5million has been included in next year’s estimates to facilitate this refurbishment.

The Theobalds Enterprise Centre officially opened in November 2023. More than 20 businesses have already taken a lease at the centre, with many of these businesses being new to the Borough. This will generate more than £100,000 of income for the Council and has provided hundreds of jobs.

Brookfield Riverside will create a million square feet of retail, leisure and residential uses alongside 1,250 new homes in the Garden Village.  Together, this amounts to around £1billion of investment in the Borough, providing thousands of jobs and much needed homes for local people. The capital estimates for 2024/25 make provision for the next phases of the Brookfield project which will see the start of the next stage of design and the bringing on board of a partner for the development of the Garden Village.  

Councillor Paul Mason commented:

This budget, and the investment in the people and places that it contains, clearly shows our ongoing determination to make Broxbourne the best place in which to live, work, invest and visit; and ensures we remain a Borough of which we can all be proud.

Published: 28th February 2024