Council tax to be frozen for fifth straight year as Northampton gets jobs boost

Budget proposals unveiled by Cllr David Mackintosh would see Northampton Borough Council freeze council tax for a fifth straight year, while investing more to help boost local businesses and create new jobs in the town.

Finalising Northampton Borough Council's budget with the Cabinet at The Guildhall in December 2014
Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, setting the proposed budget for 2015/16

The Conservative administration at The Guildhall has announced its proposals for the 2015/16 budget, focusing on a programme of internal efficiency savings to ensure council tax payers get best value for every pound they pay and investment to promote regeneration and stimulate growth in the town’s economy.

The key features include a further £1.25m investment in the Business Incentive Scheme over the next five years. During its first year, the scheme has already helped 36 small businesses in Northampton to establish or expand, has filled empty units and created jobs.

Coupled with the town centre’s free parking offers, it has made a strong contribution to the renewed vitality of the town centre and is now to be made a permanent grant fund.

The budget will yield a surplus for the first time since the financial downturn. This £1.8 million surplus will be committed to reserves in preparation for future financial challenges in years to come.

Cllr Mackintosh, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, said: “This budget focuses on strong financial management and making careful, sensible savings while helping to boost the local economy and create new jobs.

“Our Business Incentive Scheme, where we contribute £1 for every £5 invested by the private company itself, has already created 120 jobs in the town since April.

“We will be awarding a further £120,000 in grants to all types of businesses, which will create another 70 jobs and unlock almost £600,000 in private sector investment to the local economy.”

The Borough Council will also become a Living Wage Employer, ensuring that all directly employed staff are paid the nationally-set living wage, which is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK and designed to provide sufficient income for a person to have a minimum acceptable standard of living.