How we continue to be efficient
The financial pressures that face Local Government are well known. Despite these pressures, we remain committed to the maintenance of service delivery and continuing to improve community outcomes that enhance the quality of life for the residents of Brentwood.
The Corporate Strategy 2020-2025 (PDF) requires that we're committed to seeking innovative financial solutions that will allow us to deliver a prosperous borough to our residents, businesses and visitors.
The fundamental principles of our Medium Term Financial Strategy are to:
- maintain a sustainable financial position against a background of unprecedented financial uncertainty and reduced government funding, including the delivery of efficiency targets
- support the vision of our Borough through appropriate identification of resources required to deliver the key priorities outlined in the Corporate Strategy
- maximise opportunities and mitigate risks associated with the fundamental change to the way in which local government is financed
The future of Local Government finance now holds many uncertainties. The COVID pandemic has had a significant financial impact on the council in its role as community leader.
We will continue to support our residents and businesses through these challenging times, particularly the vulnerable and those in need of significant intervention to ensure they are protected. Alongside this, we are working with communities to support the pandemic recovery.
The impact of the pandemic can't be accurately assessed and is dependent on many factors outside our control. This will be monitored on an ongoing basis and resources may need to be re-prioritised from other service areas or additional support appropriated from reserves. Central Government has stated it will keep the level of local authority support under review.
Taking this all into consideration, we continue to deliver our Corporate Strategy outcomes while maintaining working balances and mitigating risk through the cost of living crisis.
For 2023/24 we will primarily focus on:
- generating income through regeneration activity and redevelopment within the borough
- the ongoing review and redesign of services which includes an organisational review of the establishment
- supporting inward economic investment
- continuously reviewing fees and charges to ensure full cost recovery and, where this is not possible, reviewing how the associated services are delivered to reduce costs or accepting a discounted charge in return for an appropriate community benefit
- progressing the Leisure Strategy to improve the offer of facilities in the borough, generating income and efficiencies
- optimising the Council’s use of technology to enable new ways of working and improving service quality for our residents
- ensuring the Council’s assets are used efficiently and effectively
- creating green initiatives internally and throughout the borough
Whilst we will explore opportunities to identify and secure additional income to support services, it's clear that there is also the opportunity to balance the budget through the strict management of expenditure levels and securing efficiencies.
We will ensure that services continue to drive through efficiencies and continually review working practices and operations to try and make them as efficient as possible.
How the money is spent
The table below shows how much we plan to spend on each of the main services during 2023/24. Using a Council Tax base of 33,870.80 for the number of properties within the Borough, the below highlights how much the Council spends on service delivery per Band D property.
|2023/24 Planned spend
|£/each band D property
|Growing our economy
|Protecting our environment
|Developing our communities
|Delivering an efficient and effective council
|Total amount we need
|Business rates retention
|New home bonus grant
|Collection fund deficit
|Council Tax - Brentwood
What you pay
The Council works out how much Council Tax must be collected by adding together the money needed by each of the four authorities. The total Council Tax the Council needs to collect in 2021/22 is £6,438,256 (excluding Parish Councils).The table below shows the Council Tax for an average property in band D.
|Council Tax for each property at Band D
|Brentwood Borough Council
|Essex County Council
|Essex Police Authority
|Essex Fire Authority
|Total (not including Parish Councils)
For every £1 you contribute in Council Tax, 10p remains with Brentwood Borough Council.