Ipswich Borough Council agrees its budget for the coming year

Ipswich Borough Council agrees its budget for the coming year

Ipswich Borough Council determined its 2024/25 budget proposals at a Full Council meeting last night (Wednesday 28 February), setting out how it will deal with dramatically rising cost pressures while protecting services and continuing to invest in Ipswich.

This Budget focused on addressing the medium-term financial challenges facing the Council and continuing the Council’s successful savings programme to balance the Budget.

The Council has been hit by significant cost increases outside of its control. These include a significant increase in service demand, inflation, economic uncertainty, and the impact of rising interest rates on future borrowing. The UK Government’s Local Government Finance Settlement is nowhere near enough to cover these financial challenges and another single year Settlement has not helped in planning for the future.

Early action taken by the Council has resulted in putting the Council’s finances on a more sustainable footing, and although the Council is confident about addressing the financial challenge in 2024/25, the increasing financial pressures may require the Council to consider tough decisions in the future. In real terms the Government has cut funding by £12m per annum compared to 2010/11, which is 45% of next year’s net budget.

The Ipswich Council Tax bill for 2024/25 has three parts. The Council is keen to keep Council Tax increases low, but due to current financial challenges, it was agreed to increase the Ipswich Borough Council part of Council Tax by 2.98%. In addition to Ipswich Borough Council, Suffolk County Council have confirmed a 4.99% increase and the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner has confirmed a 4.93% increase. The Ipswich Borough Council part is the lowest increase at 18p a week for the average Ipswich Band B property.

The ongoing discount scheme for residents claiming Local Council Tax Reduction (LCTR) will see over 7,000 customers benefit from lower or frozen Council Tax bills.

The Council’s financial strategy is to invest in the Town and the services the Council provides to local people and businesses, at the same time as proactively addressing the financial challenges.

Councillor Neil MacDonald, Ipswich Borough Council Leader, says: “The Council continues to take prompt action to achieve a better, sustainable financial position by setting a good and balanced budget, and further progress against savings targets is expected to be reported later in the year.”

Full details of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan 2024/25 including its Budget for 2024/25 can be found online.

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