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Huntingdonshire District Council's (HDC) 2024/2025 budget was presented at a meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday 21 February and approved for the forthcoming financial year.

The new financial plan sets out how the council will balance its budget and continue to protect vital frontline services despite decreasing government funding, along with rising costs and inflation.

To enable the council to carry on providing vital statutory services, Huntingdonshire Band D Council Tax is set to go up by £5 a year to £160.86 from the new financial year starting on 1 April 2024. The rise, which amounts to less than 10p a week, or 3.21%, means that the average household will pay around £3 a week for all the services provided by Huntingdonshire District Council.

Councillor Brett Mickelburgh, Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, said: "We have set a budget which is balanced, does not spend reserves and, importantly, protects frontline services. All this at a time of decreasing government funding, rising costs and inflation, and greater pressure on our services.

"Our approach to managing the council's finances means that the decisions we have made over the last year has ensured that Huntingdonshire’s future is financially stable and, unlike other councils, protects against service cuts.

"By building solid financial foundations we can plan and enhance the council in line with the things that matter most to people. We believe in the protection of services for our most vulnerable people, so individuals or families avoid falling into crisis. We can achieve this through our continued approaches built on prevention and early intervention, such as the new Council Tax Support Scheme. This budget takes us another step closer to our goal for a future focused on outcomes which are enabled by sound finances."

Over the coming year, we will continue to deliver on our priorities for the district, which are around improving the quality of life for local people, looking after the most vulnerable, creating a better Huntingdonshire for future generations and delivering good quality, high value-for-money services.

Councillor Sarah Conboy, Executive Leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, added: "As more and more councils across the country face financial difficulty, I am proud that we are delivering on our promise of long-term financial sustainability. We have made some unpopular but prudent decisions to ensure that we continue to be here for our residents and provide the services they need.

"From supporting people with the cost of living and setting up warm spaces, to investing in our market towns and making significant progress in addressing climate priorities, as well as improving our biodiversity in our open spaces, we have made great strides over the last 12 months. I look forward to continuing this journey in 2024 as we create a greener, fairer Huntingdonshire for all."