Balanced budget approved that protects vital services despite challenging financial climate
Our budget for 2024-25 focuses on continuing our commitment to maintain frontline services and deliver on priorities, without the need for cuts to balance the budget.
Prudent financial management saving over £10m over the past 10 years means we are in a sound position this year compared to many other councils.
We are still not immune to significant financial challenges ahead, driven largely by pressures outside of our control like inflation and long-term reduced government funding. This is why we continue to take necessary and cautious steps to find much-needed savings.
Whilst we have prudently set aside reserves as part of its long-term financial planning, a budget deficit increasing up to £2.3m per year is predicted up to 2027-28.
To build sustainable services in the future, a ‘Fit for the Future’ transformation programme is underway looking at transforming how the council works, how it can use resources more effectively, work together with partners to align services and share capabilities and closely scrutinising how it uses assets and resources.
Investment in priorities and services
We are continuing to invest in priorities and services across the district, including:
- affordable housing
- waste service delivery
- play area improvements
- supporting the district to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030
This is on top of existing projects that include funding for a Maltings Lane Community Centre, town centre improvements in Halstead and Witham, funding to Halstead voluntary, faith and community groups and skatepark refurbishments across the district.
Councillor community grant scheme to continue
We're continuing our Councillor Community Grant scheme which helps support local community groups and initiatives across the district and is a huge part of making a difference in the community.
£80,000 worth of grant funding was provided to 80 groups & individuals across the district during 2022-23!
Dance Network Association is just one of the organisations who benefitted from the scheme, receiving £500 towards the costs of providing dance sessions in Witham for people living with dementia and their carers.
With 60% of the council’s net budget being funded from council tax, council tax will increase by an extra 11p per week based on a Band D property to help protect statutory services, ensure that unavoidable cost pressures can be met and to support longer-term financial stability.
Braintree District Council continues to remain one of the lowest council tax rates in Essex and below the national average of shire districts.
Support is available if you are experiencing financial difficulties:
- Visit our Council Tax page for council tax support
- Visit our Cost of living page for a range of support including debt, jobs and career advice, cost of living payments, medical costs and warm rooms.
Our income for 2024/25
Our total budget is £19.6 million for 2024-2025.
This is funded by:
- 60% council taxpayers
- 35% business ratepayers
- 5% central government grants
Your local council tax helps to fund over 100 local services, from waste collection, leisure centres, keeping the streets clean and removing litter, to providing community transport for the vulnerable and helping those in housing need.
How your Council Tax is shared
Although we collect council tax, the money doesn't just pay for our services.
It also pays for services by the police, fire, county council, parish and town councils too.
For every £1 people pay in council tax, just over 9p goes to Braintree District Council. Essex County Council receives 72p, Essex Police & Crime Commissioner receives 12p, Essex Fire Authority receives 4p and parish and town councils receive 3p.