21 February, 2020
Council agrees final budget ahead of unitary change
Daventry District Council (DDC) has set its final budget and Council Tax level before it is replaced by a new unitary authority next year.
At last night’s Council meeting (Thursday, 21 February), councillors approved a £17.5million revenue budget for 2020/21 – money that will be spent on the day-to-day running of its services. The budget takes account of a 1.5% increase in the funding settlement that the Council is expected to receive from central Government for the next financial year, which begins in April.
At the meeting, councillors also set the authority’s Council Tax level for the year ahead, agreeing that DDC’s portion of the bill, including special expenses, will increase on average by about £5 a year for a Band D property in the District – equivalent to just under 10p a week.
Members also heard that DDC would be in a healthy and stable financial position for the next 12 months, with £30.5m in reserves, before it is replaced as part of the new West Northamptonshire Council on 1 April 2021.
Throughout its final year as a district authority, DDC will continue to invest in improving local amenities and services, earmarking money within its capital programme for the ongoing regeneration of Daventry’s town centre and other developments. Projects set to move forward in the year ahead include the Mulberry Place cinema in Daventry town centre, a new public leisure centre in Moulton and the development of a new Reach for Health rehabilitation centre.
Councillor Colin Morgan, Resources Portfolio Holder said: “We find ourselves in a healthy and stable position as we set the budget for our final year as DDC. This enables us to ensure we can deliver upon a range of projects over the next 12 months to improve our local communities, including a new cinema for Daventry and a new leisure centre for residents in the east of our District. Applying a small increase to our part of the Council Tax bill will also make a big difference towards helping to maintain local services.
“In the face of the severe funding pressures continuing across local government, we’ve worked hard to be able to deliver a prudent and balanced budget which will hold us in good stead as we enter the new unitary authority.”
DDC collects the Council Tax on behalf of Northamptonshire’s public authorities including Northamptonshire County Council, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner and parish councils. DDC’s precept represents 8% of the total annual Council Tax bill, with 6% going towards parish councils and special expenses, 69% to Northamptonshire County Council and 17% to the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.
Council Tax bills will be issued to households district-wide from 2 March onwards. Residents living on a low income may be entitled to help towards their Council tax payments. Anyone who feels they may qualify for Council Tax Benefit can get confidential advice by phoning 01327 871100, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting the Council Offices at Lodge Road, Daventry.