Budget Consultation 2023/24 – Miracle workers needed

At this time of year it is known that miracles have happened. The birth of a child at an inn is one such case. Wise men have traveled from the East bearing gifts. Shepherds have witnessed a bright star in fields where their flocks were pastured.

It was we the Shepway Vox Team who first reported we have the highest Council tax in Kent.  That aside and fast forward some 2000 years, we the residents of Folkestone & Hythe District need another miracle if we are not to have the highest council tax of any Council in Kent, for the twentieth year in a row.

On the 23 Dec 2022, Folkestone & Hythe District Council published their consultation on next year’s budget 2023/24. In the announcement it states:

The original proposals had been worked out on a proposed 1.99% increase in F&HDC’s share of the council tax, however the Government has recently advised councils as part of the Provisional Local Government Settlement that council tax for District Councils can be raised to 2.99% without need for a referendum.

Back in August 2022, we the Shepway Vox Team proposed how £50 could be knocked off your Council Tax bill. Later in the month we even set out how it could be done. It’s not a lot, but “every little helps

On 14 Dec 2022, Report Number C/XX/XX went before Cabinet. It forecast a yearly deficit of £4.2m – £5m annually for the next four years with a cumulative deficit of £18.5m by 2026/27.

However, since the Cabinet report, the deficit for 2023/24 has been reduced by £2,245,402, according to Report number C/22/77; which will go before the Finance and Performance Scrutiny Sub-Committee – Tuesday, 10th January, 2023. The reduction has come about for three reasons

1 The increase allowed for Council Tax

2 Local Government Settlement Agreement

3 Changes to the amounts FHDC will pay into KCC Pension Fund

The Council still need to save £2m in 2023/24, but from what budget’s do they cut without affecting their statutory and frontline services?

But it is not all about cutting budgets as the Council can raise income as well due to a variety of legislation.

In 2023/24, the Council propose spending £19m spend on services at the full council meeting on 22 February 2023. The services include maintaining parks and gardens, providing social housing, keeping streets clean, emptying bins and dealing with planning applications, for example.

If you wish to comment on the Council budget consultation, then you can do so by clicking this link here, Read the papers then make your suggestions on how the council might lower that deficit for 2023/24 by a further £2m, but without charging residents more.

If there are any miracle workers out there recently made redundant, now’s your opportunity to show us what you can do.

Our starter for ten on helping to lower that deficit are:

Save money on computer software: Use open source software.

Stop providing free food and drink for meetings

Cut spending on consultants and agency staff

Stop the scope for procurement fraud

Tackle duplicate payments

Stop all spending on Princes Parade.

 The consultation is open until 4pm on Wednesday 1 February 2023.

If you have any ideas please do put them forward, because we need a miracle to stop our Council tax being the highest in Kent, for the twentieth year in a row.

The Shepway Vox Team

Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful

About shepwayvox (1820 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

2 Comments on Budget Consultation 2023/24 – Miracle workers needed

  1. Very well said. Not hard, is it!

  2. I truly believe there are those personnel at FHDC that are more than capable of sorting out the mess that Monk and his little band of followers have got us into .
    The only problem being is that they no doubt are not being allowed to do their job because certain people in the Council would be exposed to their wasteful use of our Council Tax to fulfill not only their vanity projects but also how they have ensured that votes go their way by giving jobs to certain individuals who were voted in as Independents.

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