Councils Set 2024/2025 Council Tax

South Oxfordshire District Council and Oxfordshire County Council have now agreed their precept for council tax for 2024/25.  SODC have made an increase of 3.54% and Oxfordshire County Council 4.99%.   Henley Town Council approved their precept last month with an increase of 29% (there are no limits for town councils increases unlike district and county councils which the government have capped at 5%).  This means that a property in H Band (most properties in Henley) will see their Council tax go from £3990.06 (excluding Police precept £512.56 23/24) to £4242.57 + police precept.

South Oxfordshire District Council Council tax funds household waste and recycling collections, community support, leisure services, parks and public toilets, housing services, planning services, environmental health and licensing. The District Council have made £500,000 available in their 2024/2025 budget to support community projects, such as to help improve people’s quality of life, improve local facilities and increase action on climate change. There is increased funding for homelessness prevention, an expansion of the housing team and to support active communities.  The council’s capital budget includes significant planned investment in social housing and decarbonisation of leisure centres to reduce energy usage and ongoing costs.

Cllr Pieter-Paul Barker, Cabinet Member for Finance and Property Assets at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Despite the major challenges we continue to face, including funding rises that are below inflation, the cost-of-living crisis and ongoing economic and political uncertainty, we continue to maintain positive finances and provide quality local services and support for our communities.’

“Following approval of the 2024/45 budget, we can now build on our successes of the last year and help even more people to lead active lives and continue to help those who are struggling financially.  We will also continue to work with our partners towards delivering more affordable housing, improved local infrastructure and on local projects that help to reduce emissions and tackle climate change.”

“We’re in a much more positive position than many other authorities and continue do well to maintain our finances but we will remain extra vigilant and stay focused on our goal of achieving long-term financial stability.”

At Oxfordshire County Council, all three main political groups on the council presented their own budget proposals. The Liberal Democrat Green Alliance group forms the administration at the council and they first published a draft budget in late November.

This went through several changes as levels of government and other funding became clearer. A balanced budget was proposed by the council’s cabinet in early February, which later included additional money awarded to councils in England from central government.

The Conservative and Labour groups each independently proposed their own amendments to this budget. Each set of budget proposals was debated in the council chamber.

The Liberal Democrats accepted Labour group amendments and a budget was agreed.

In the final budget it was agreed there would be an increase in budget for adult and children’s social care, extra spending on children with SEND needs, extra money for highways, particularly gulley maintenance as well as a commitment to support bus use and active travel to reduce air pollution and congestion.

The Labour amendment that was accepted means that the following is also included in the budget:

  • Increasing early intervention work in early years and primary school settings to respond to SEND needs and proactively support the transition into mainstream education (£500,000 in 2024/25 and £380,000 ongoing funding from 2025/26).
  • Invest in the Family Help Team to reduce the future demand and cost of care. £375,000 in 2024/25 rising to £500,000 in 2025/26
  • Introduce four new Controlled Parking Zones (£200,000 in 24/5)
  • Investment in improved collection of fees, charges and penalties (£210,000)
  • Restore cost of living funding to support local advice centres. (£300,000)
  • £300,000 revenue funding for borrowing supporting £5m additional funding for scheduled highways maintenance added to the capital programme. Meanwhile other capital investments include £6m for additional new children’s homes and £12.65m for additional active travel work

 

 

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