9 February, 2024

Council approves budget for 2024-25 financial year

The Thanet District Council budget for the next financial year which runs from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025 was approved by Full Council at a meeting held on Thursday 8 February.

A statutory obligation, delivering a balanced budget is legally required each new financial year. It funds the services provided to residents, communities and businesses throughout the year and comes after initial approval by Cabinet at a meeting on Thursday 11 January.

The approved budget will be implemented in April at the start of the new financial year.

The budget recommendations put forward were agreed, meaning that proposed spending on the many public services provided by the council can go ahead.

Delivering a budget each year is fundamental to ensuring that projects and day-to-day spending can be fully financed. The agreed budget includes ongoing investment in open spaces and public areas, with funding for additional street cleansers, graffiti cleaning, playground maintenance and replacement. Specifically, it sets out plans for an extra £180,000 to tackle weed clearance and graffiti, and includes a one-off allocation of £50,000 to support working with the community to maximise participation in active sports and to improve the pitches at Jackey Bakers and elsewhere.

At the Thursday 8 February meeting, Councillors also approved the fees and charges for the next financial year. Increases in key areas such as parking, green waste collection and the crematorium are capped to 5% or less.

An amendment proposed at the meeting to freeze the charge for on-street residential parking permits was approved.

Cllr Rob Yates Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said: “In the current economic climate, I’m very pleased that it has been possible to achieve a balanced budget for the forthcoming financial year. It’s never an easy process, requiring months of delicate negotiation, and an unwavering attention to detail. I must express my sincere thanks to everyone that has been involved in getting us to this point.

“We believe this is a compassionate, progressive budget, that is focused on the services that residents have been calling out for. The budget includes funding for cleaner and safer streets, increasing provision of council houses and homelessness accommodation, playing our part to reach net zero, ending the use of glyphosate weedkiller, and supporting our regeneration team with additional resource so that we can deliver on our exciting regeneration projects. And this is on top of the £1.25m we have already committed to reopening and refurbishing toilets around the district.

“This financial year the approved budget means that spending on local services is increasing by £2.2m (9%). Given inflation, it is costing more to deliver the same services than it did a year ago and we have had to allow for the funding of this.

“We’re still experiencing a lot of pressure on services that we cannot control the demand for, in particular in housing and homelessness support, but we are proud of the focus we are putting into this area. Our plan will reduce our dependence on the private housing sector by acquiring or building 400 new council homes by the end of 2027.

“As is the case with many local councils up and down the country, our budgets are a delicate balancing act between the need to cover the cost of services with an understanding that fees and charges need to remain affordable. We’ve done everything we can to keep increases to a minimum but with high inflation they are a necessary factor in our ability to continue to provide more for local people.”

Thanet District Council receives just 12p in every £1 of Council Tax paid by residents of Thanet. For example, for an average Band D property making ten monthly payments of £207, Thanet District Council receives around £25 per payment month. The rest goes to other local public sector organisations: Kent County Council (70.6%), Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Kent Fire & Rescue, and Town and Parish Councils.

For 2024/25, Thanet’s share of the Council Tax will increase by 3%. This is the equivalent of a £7.64 increase each year for a Band D property – or an extra 15p per week.

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