Hertfordshire County Council wants to hear your views on how they can make the fairest decisions possible as they develop their budget plans.
Like all organisations across the country the ongoing impact of increasing inflation has added significantly to the pressures on Hertfordshire County Council’s budget. Having set a balanced budget for the next two years as recently as February 2022, we have since seen this position changing at pace with inflationary pressures having an impact on the day-to-day costs of our services.
In short, it’s costing a lot more to simply provide our services at current levels. For example, the bill to keep streetlights on has increased by 60%, that’s an extra £2.3 million a year just to keep the lights on after dark. Despite this, thanks to close control and financial forecasting it has been possible to manage the in-year potential over-spend of £23.5million.
The Leader of our council has lobbied for the county via the Local Government Association, County Council’s Network, working with MPs and directly to Government to make it plain that an enhanced financial settlement is essential in order to keep the vital services running for the people of Hertfordshire.
Last week, the government announced that it will provide us with flexibility to set our levels of council tax. However, before any decisions, we want to hear from you.
Your feedback via this consultation will inform the discussions that our county councillors will have throughout January at public panel meetings and help decide the budget that is set for the council in the February 2023 Full Council.
The budget survey is open to all residents, town and parish councils, parish meetings and organisations in Hertfordshire and can be found here www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/budgetsurvey
Sustainable Warmth is a new Government scheme which can help pay for improvements to your home which will help you use less energy and spend less money on your energy bills. In Hertfordshire, the scheme is managed by Warmworks.
In order to qualify for funding:
- Your home should have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rated E, F or G (D-rated homes can also be considered) – this will be assessed by Warmworks
And you are a low income household. For example:
- If your annual household income is under £30,000, or under £20,000 after rent or mortgage costs.
- Your household is on means-tested benefits.
- An allowance will also be made for the number of children in your household, or if you have recently lost income.
For more details on the Sustainable Warmth grant and to find out if you are eligible by completing a short application form, click the following link: https://surveys.est.org.uk/s/GreenHomesGrantSchemeLAD or call Warmworks free of charge on 0808 196 8255.