Maximum council tax increase for Northamptonshire residents as county council's draft budget for 2020/21 is announced

Northamptonshire residents will face the largest council tax rise possible for 2020/21 as the county council announced its draft budget today (November 4).

Monday, 4th November 2019, 5:10 pm
Cllr Matt Golby (leader), Cllr Malcolm Longley (finance) and chief of finance Barry Scarr, pictured left to right, have been among those working on the draft budget. Picture by Kirsty Edmonds

The draft budget, which is likely to be Northamptonshire County Council’s last in its existence, will also see £23.2million of savings having to be made with the vast majority coming from adult social services.

Members of the public will see their council tax rise by 1.99 per cent, with a two per cent social care precept also added. It is the maximum amount before a referendum needs to be called, though is less than the 2.99 per cent threshold for council tax in previous years.

Council leaders did announce however that county council staff would finally be getting a pay rise with a four per cent increase, and the authority is starting to replenish the amount of money it has in reserves after running out of money in recent years.

The budget was announced during a press conference at One Angel Square this morning, as county council leader Matt Golby, flanked by chief executive Theresa Grant and other senior councillors and officers, said the authority’s finances were beginning to ‘stabilise’ following a turbulent few years.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He said: “We all know where we were two years ago, 18 months ago and even a year ago. An enormous amount of hard work has gone in to get to where we are today. We are getting to a point where we are stabilising the finances and we are starting to honour the commitment we made to the people of Northamptonshire that we would do everything in our power to deal with the financial situation.

“This has been an incredible journey, both for me personally and for the staff. It’s been difficult and challenging, but I think today’s budget represents a big step forward.”

The total income from council tax is budgeted at £327.5million, with the current band D council tax rate estimated to be £1,285.42 for the year.

The overall budget for the county council stands at £447.71million. Of the £23.2million savings, £12.9million will come from adult social services, £4million each from children’s services and the place services (such as transport and technology), £1.4million from corporate services and £1million from LGSS.