Horsham District Council prepares for budget

JPCT 130312 Park North, Hosham District Council office. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 130312 Park North, Hosham District Council office. Photo by Derek Martin

Horsham District Council will be considering the budget outlook to 2015/16 at its council meeting later this month.

The council will look at the Medium Term Financial Strategy document at the meeting at the council’s offices in North Street, Horsham, at 6pm on Wednesday October 24, a meeting which is open to the public.

At present, the revenue account deficit is forecast to be in the region of £2.6million by 2015/16.

The council’s business transformation programme is targeted to save £1.25 million by 2015/16 but this means there is still a net gap of £1.35 million.

The council’s cabinet and corporate management team are currently identifying the outline of the transformation programme of key projects to find more savings to close this gap.

To meet the savings targets, the council must decide from a combination of increasing income through higher council tax, making new charges or increasing existing ones for services or cutting council services to the public.

Roger Arthur, Horsham District Council’s cabinet member for efficiency and resources, said: “Whilst Horsham District Council has saved around £7million in the last five years and is one of the lowest spending local authorities in the UK, Government funding reductions have given us even greater challenges.

“As a result, we are facing the spectre of a £2.6million per annum deficit by 2015/16.

“Consequently, we are evaluating options to increase income and to improve value for money. 

“In the short term, we must act to eliminate a £600,000 deficit next year, whilst endeavouring to sustain discretionary services.

“We will do all we can to retain Horsham District Council’s position as one of the best places in the UK in which to live.”