We asked for your views on the council's budget for 2022/23
Friday 27 August to Monday 4 October 2021. This consultation is closed. Key findings are available.

The budget consultation 2022/23 focuses on supporting post-covid recovery in Herefordshire and informing the council's transformation journey to deliver our services and facilities in the most effective, affordable and environmentally friendly way.

What you have told us will help us to get the best value for every pound we spend, so we can continue to serve all residents according to their needs and support the most vulnerable in our community as we plan for the future.

Find out more about the council budget in our budget explainer video and read more about our proposals below.

The budget consultation ran from 27 August to Monday 4 October 2021.

Background to the consultation

All local authorities have faced significant funding cuts to budgets over recent years. This has been made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic which has left the council with large budget shortfalls as well as hitting businesses and families hard. Last year’s budget consultation invited residents to consider which services they prioritised and where they felt savings could be made as the council looked to make around £11 million of savings.

Recovery and transformation

While the council budget remains constrained, this year the council is not facing such a significant funding gap. Therefore, the focus of this consultation is to look at how the council can support post-covid recovery and transform the way council services are delivered to ensure they are modern, effective, efficient and environmentally friendly.

This year’s budget consultation builds on what residents told us last year about council priorities with a particular focus on these key areas:

  • Raising additional revenue for local good causes, for example a community lottery scheme / additional voluntary contribution scheme for the purpose of raising funds to benefit the residents of Herefordshire
  • Consideration of accessing the finance/borrowing available to councils for investment for social, environmental and economic benefit in the county
  • Supporting low income households and local businesses in need of support post-covid

View the documents 

What you told us last year

From last year’s (2021/22) budget consultation we have taken into account what you said:

  • You were dissatisfied with highways and roads more than any other service (72%)

The council is investigating large scale investment in highways and roads, which will require additional borrowing. We are seeking your views on increased borrowing within this year’s budget consultation.

  • You were dissatisfied with bus services

The council is seeking grant funding for significant investment in electric buses.

  • One of your highest priorities was to build publicly owned, sustainable and affordable houses

We aim to deliver 1,000 additional affordable homes by 2024. The council has brought in specialist expertise to help deliver new affordable housing more quickly.

  • A large number of you raised concerns about the size of the proposed increases in council tax

2021/2022 was an exceptional year financially for the council having to find just over £11 million savings. Despite this we increased support to households in financial difficulties, including reducing council tax to zero for those hardest hit during the covid pandemic.

Council Tax increases are expected to be capped at inflation for the coming year.

We are seeking your views on the Council Tax reduction scheme for 2022/23.

The council’s Local Assistance Fund has also been enhanced to provide more support to those that need it in our community.

  • You were willing to consider potential schemes to raise additional revenue to benefit local residents:
    • A lottery scheme
    • A voluntary contribution scheme

We are consulting on these two schemes in this year’s budget consultation.

  • 50% of you thought that the council did not provide value for money

The council has worked with its auditors to develop a new Value for Money Strategy and Value for Money Policy which will come to Cabinet shortly for approval. The strategy and policy tackle gaps and weaknesses in the council’s approach to project management and service delivery. They will ensure we provide financial social, economic and environmental value and are able to show the positive impact our actions have on our residents and communities.

  • You wanted us to make services more affordable to run, and your top two priorities are:
    • Making more efficient use of council assets such as land and buildings
    • Changing working practices to make better use of technology and more efficient ways of working

The new Chief Executive has initiated a two year transformation programme for the council, led by experts. Feedback from last year’s and this year’s budget consultations will help us shape this council-wide transformation programme.

How we'll use the information from this consultation

This consultation closed on Monday 4 October 2021. The information gained will be used to inform our budget and the result of the consultation will be published here in December 2021.

If you have any queries please contact us at researchteam@herefordshire.gov.uk

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Published: 26th August 2021