Efficiencies: How we give you Value for Money
The present economic climate presents specific challenges for the Council as demand increases for services, whilst Government Funding continues to reduce. The Revenue Support Grant (RSG) has now reduced to nil from 2018/19 onwards as well as the New Homes Bonus (NHB) reducing significantly in recent years. The New Homes Bonus was introduced from 2011/12 as a financial incentive and reward for housing growth. The grant is based on a national average Council Tax value of additional homes including any properties brought back into use. There is also an additional premium for affordable homes. The Bonus Grant was intended to be payable for 6 years. However, changes were announced in the 2017/18 Provisional Local Government settlement which are that the number of years that the scheme will be based upon (currently 6 years’ in 2016/17) will reduce to 5 years in 2017/18 and 4 years from 2018/19 onwards. The scheme will now also only reward growth in homes above 0.4% per annum. For 2018/19, the Council is due to receive £0.410m in New Homes Bonus Grant. Since 2015/16 and forecasted to 2020/21, the Council has seen reduction in core Government funding of £3m.
How we continue to be efficient
The future of Local Government finance now holds many uncertainties. However, the Council has greater opportunities in the form of:
- Retaining a proportion of Business Rates income locally and therefore having less reliance on Central Government support.
- Raising more Council Tax income through the development of new homes which is linked to the Local Development Plan.
The Council has embraced the modernisation agenda and is committed to achieving continuous improvement and innovation in service delivery. It is also committed to working with partners to improve the quality of life for residents and businesses within the Borough of Brentwood.
Whilst the Council will explore opportunities to identify and secure additional income with which to support services, it is clear that there is also the opportunity to balance its budget through the strict management of expenditure levels and securing efficiencies.
The Council will ensure that services continue to drive through efficiencies and continually review their working practices and operations to try and make them as efficient as possible. This will be achieved by:
- Increasing the Commercial activity, through a Joint Venture Partner & Seven Arches Investments Limited. (Wholly Owned Company Registered by the Council)
- Developing the Councils partnership aspirations to deliver quality front and back office services.
- Producing a Car Parking Strategy & Implementing a Leisure Strategy.
- Agreeing a Local Development Plan.
- Prepare, practice and educate all in the matters of Business Continuity and Emergency Planning.
- Producing a New Corporate Plan for 2019-2022.
- Review of the Council’s Constitution, Risk Management and Annual Governance.
How our budget is affected
The table below shows how the state of the national economy and the Government’s policy of reducing public expenditure has affected our budget.
|Council Tax Requirement in 2017/18||5,715|
|Net decrease in core grant funding||799|
|Decrease in net spending on services||-16|
|Movement of Transfer from Earmarked & General Fund Reserve||-529|
|Council Tax Requirement in 2018/19||5,969|
How the money is spent
The table below shows how much we plan to spend on each of the main services during 2018/19. Using a Council Tax base of 32,592.60 for the number of properties within the Borough.
|2018/19 Planned Spend|
|Corporate Vision||£’000||£/each Band D Property|
|Environment & Housing Management||3,111||95.46|
|Community and Health||1,230||37.75|
|Planning and Licensing||606||18.58|
|Direct Service Costs||8,433||258.75|
|Total amount we need||8,941||274.32|
|Government Formula Grant||0||0|
|Business Rates Retention||2,220||68.11|
|New Home Bonus Grant||410||12.58|
|Collection Fund Surplus & NNDR Pool Income||-175||-5.36|
|Council Tax - Brentwood||5,969||183.14|
|Council Tax - Parishes||517||15.85|
How much do 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 2018/19 is £5,969,009 (excluding Parish Councils).The table below shows the Council Tax for an average property in band D.
|Amount Needed||Council Tax for each property at Band D|
|Brentwood Borough Council||5,969,009||183.14|
|Essex County Council||39,820,009||1,221.75|
|Essex Police Authority||5,508,801||169.02|
|Essex Fire Authority||2,293,867||70.38|
|Total (not including Parish Councils)||53,591,686||1,644.29|
For every £1.00 you contribute in Council Tax, 11p remains with Brentwood Borough Council.
View the Medium Term Financial Plan 2017-2020