Published: Wednesday, 24th February 2021
Last night Sevenoaks District Council passed the final part of their budget setting process, with unanimous, cross party support.
In November 2020, the Council gave support for a 10 year balanced budget that showed savings, the protection of frontline services and future investment returns. It also made assumptions regarding council tax levels that could not be set at that time. Putting most of the budget in place early reduced the overall pressure on the Council’s finances by almost £100,000.
Cllr Peter Fleming, Leader of the Council, says, “The last year has seen a huge impact on many people’s lives across the District. We have seen increased numbers of households coming to the Council for help alongside supporting our local businesses throughout the pandemic.
“The Council has not been immune to the impacts of Covid-19 and over the last year the pandemic has cost the Council approaching £5m in increased costs and lost income. The government has provided significant funding, however we have had to find in excess of £300,000 of unfunded Covid-19 related costs.
“We are making savings and delivering additional income totalling £1m without impacting the frontline services we provide to the Districts residents. We believe more than ever that we need to be ready to help and support individuals, communities and the local economy as we come out of the pandemic and start to look at the District’s recovery.
“In light of the above we are proposing a very limited Council Tax increase, recognising the impacts of the pandemic, that equates for the average household to a little under £5 a year or 10p a week, this will allow us to continue our work in support of residents, businesses and the communities we serve through hugely uncertain times.”
Sevenoaks District Council set its budget in November 2020 and agreed its share of the Council Tax at yesterday's Council meeting (23 February 2021).