West Northamptonshire Council reveals first ever proposed budget with maximum council tax increase

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'This budget provides a stable foundation on which to deliver ambitious plans for the future'

The new West Northamptonshire Council has revealed its first ever budget proposals with council tax recommended to be increased by the maximum allowed without a referendum.

The council comes into existence on April 1, when the eight councils which currently provide public services in the county are dissolved and replaced by two unitary authorities for west and north.

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This will mean services previously provided by four different councils will come together under a new single local authority, including adult social care, planning, housing and waste disposal and collection.

Cllr Rebecca BreeseCllr Rebecca Breese
Cllr Rebecca Breese

A balanced budget of £712 million has been determined by combining the current councils' expenditures minus any cost-savings from the merger, with council tax increased by 4.99 per cent.

Cllr Rebecca Breese, shadow portfolio holder for finance, human resources and corporate services, said: “This budget provides a stable foundation on which to deliver ambitious plans for the future.

“This is a very exciting time for us and having a firm financial footing is essential to bring quality services to our residents.”

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The council tax hikes would mean an average band D house would pay £1,566.39, or an increase of £74.45 for the year or £1.43 per week.

A West Northamptonshire Council spokesperson said it is focused on becoming a greener and cleaner authority, a great place in which people can live, work and visit.

The council aims to recover and grow the economy, playing a full role as one of the largest authorities within the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, while establishing strong and safe communities with good housing, they added.

Further integration of adult social care and health services is also key to the future and the council will be working differently and collaborating more with key partners and stakeholders.

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Cllr Ian McCord, leader of the West Northants Shadow Authority, said: “We have ambitious plans for West Northamptonshire to make this area a great place in which to live and work and where businesses can prosper.

“Bringing the local authorities together creates many advantages and we can unite our strengths to ensure that we deliver for our residents.”

The final budget proposals will be discussed by the shadow executive on February 12, before appearing before the full shadow authority for final approval on February 23.