Watford Borough Council approved proposals to protect vital frontline services and continue investment in the town at full council this week (30 January)...
Like councils across the country, Watford Borough Council has faced unprecedented financial pressures over the last year with the impact of inflation, escalating costs and increased demand for services like housing and homeless leading to a significant gap between its income and spending.
However, through sound financial planning and management, the council is delivering a balanced budget that sets aside funds to improve the quality of life for local people and help secure the future prosperity of the town.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor said: "Whilst we have had to take some very difficult decisions this year, I am pleased to be putting forward a budget that protects our ambitious plans for Watford and the services local people tell us they value. Soaring costs have hit councils hard but government has not recognised this with any additional funding. Our services grant from government reduced from £110k this year to £18k for next, so we have had to dig deep. This has included cutting costs where we can and making the most of our income opportunities, including the return on our property investments.
“I have made sure our budget proposals safeguard important local services and projects such as transforming the Colosseum and Watford Museum, expanding the very popular Beryl Bikes scheme, launching our eco-friendly car club scheme, replacing CCTV and extending the town’s tree canopy.”
Following nearly two years of high inflation and without additional government funding, it has been necessary for the council increase council tax by 2.99%. This is just under an extra 17p a week to the council for a Band D property.
Hertfordshire Country Council, who receives the largest share of council tax revenue and the Police and Crime Commission, have yet to finalise their council tax figures, so the final 2024-25 amount that Watford residents will pay next year will be announced in March.