In announcing the Budget plans for Northampton Borough Council today, the Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, has set out a challenging programme of internal cost cutting and restructuring measures in order to provide a freeze in council tax for hard-pressed local families in the budget proposals for 2013/14.
In a difficult financial climate, proposals to create a more efficient organisation would see the Borough Council restructuring departments and support services to contribute the majority of the overall savings that have to be made.
The internal savings programme includes sharing services with other authorities through the LGSS scheme, which would bring a saving of more than £415,000 in the next financial year.
Other proposals to meet the budget shortfall of £1.9 million in the next financial year include a further review of the small number of the town’s network of CCTV cameras that are the least effective, removing funding from the GroundWorks project and reviewing the discretionary relief given to charities on their business rates.
The budget also proposes investment and growth in a number of areas that will enhance community safety including investing more in the street football scheme, securing public land from illegal vehicle access and increasing the patrol capacity of park rangers.
The Borough Council is also setting aside funds to ensure vulnerable benefit recipients continue to receive support when changes to the Council Tax benefit system, which transfers the cost to local authorities, come into place.
There will be no increase in the rate of Council Tax.
Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said “We want to make sure that every penny of council tax raised is spent in a way that benefits our town and provides essential services for residents.”
“This is a very challenging time and our focus has been to ensure this organisation is as lean and efficient as it can be while maintaining the skills and expertise we need to drive regeneration and lead the town’s future prosperity.”
“We have also recognised the need to invest in some areas that will support the drive to reduce anti-social behaviour and promote community safety and while focussing on slimming down our organisation presents us with some very hard choices, we decided that we could not look at options that might seem easier but that would be damaging to the economic growth of the town.”