Hillingdon Council sets out budget proposals
Friday 15 December 2023: Budget proposals for 2024/25 were outlined by Hillingdon's Council's Cabinet last night (Thursday 14 December), which include plans to maintain and further invest in the borough's award-winning services and generate efficiency savings through service transformation, with residents set to pay amongst the lowest levels of council tax in outer London.
The council has built and maintained a substantial capital programme which will see investment of £217.8 million in services, facilities and schools and a further £441.8 million between 2024/25 and 2028/29 on increasing and improving the council's housing stock.
The council's 2024/25 budget also commits to maintaining and investing in services for residents, including free weekly waste and recycling collections, enhanced parks and leisure facilities, road and pavement resurfacing, town centre improvements and additional homes and school places.
Each year, the council minimises the funding requirement from residents by creating efficiency savings through its transformation programme while continuing to maintain and invest in services for residents. This programme, rather than cutting services, finds better ways of delivering them at a lower cost and saved £20.8 million in 2023/24, with a further £33.4 million earmarked for the period between 2024/25 and 2028/29, including £15.8 million in 2024/25.
Efficiencies included relocating services and reducing energy usage, such as moving Uxbridge adult education service to the Civic Centre; a number of 'invest to save' initiatives which will help to stabilise social care costs; developing a new, more modern and dynamic Youth Offer; expanding Family Hubs boroughwide to integrate family services; and making better use of technology.
While the council is proposing a council tax and social care precept of 4.99 per cent (2.99 per cent core council tax and 2 per cent precept to fund residents' adult social care), this equates to £1.27 a week for a Band D property, with residents paying amongst the lowest levels of council tax in outer London.
Hillingdon's fees and charges are also likely to remain lower than most London local authorities and be set in line with Consumer Price Index inflation for discretionary services used by residents.
Cllr Martin Goddard, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Finance, said: "While the national funding picture for local government remains bleak, here in Hillingdon, the council's sound financial management continues alongside an effective savings delivery programme to ensure that residents don't pay as much as others and that the council can continue to maintain and invest in its award-winning services.
"The next year will continue to prove challenging, and we are going to have to continue to look at even more innovative and efficient ways to deliver our outstanding services, but we will maintain our commitment to putting our residents first through our robust financial planning."
Residents can visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/budget-consultation before Sunday 28 January to have their say on the proposed budget.