Ipswich Borough Council will share details of its Medium-Term Financial Plan (MTFP) with key points considered at the Council Executive meeting on 6 February; final decisions to be made at Full Council on 28 February.
Like so many other local authorities, the Council is anticipating challenging times as the UK continues to see significant increases in service demands, inflation, economic uncertainty, and the impact of high interest rates on borrowing.
Executive will consider the recommended Council Tax increase of 2.98%, which equates to 18p or less per week for most households and is consistent with the anticipated Government's recommended 3% increase. Ipswich Borough Council expects to remain the lowest of the three elements which make up Ipswich’s council tax bill (Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner).
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 £109m since 2010/11, at today’s prices.
This Budget will focus on addressing the medium-term financial challenges facing the Council as well as continuing the Council’s successful savings programme to meet its budget challenges and support the delivery of the much-needed corporate strategy.
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 Martin Cook, Ipswich Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Resources, says:
“Like so many others, 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 high interest rates.
As we continue to focus on delivering our Corporate Strategy, the Council is moving into 2024/25 with confidence in meeting our financial challenges head-on.
The Council remains committed to supporting our residents, which includes our recommendation that a Council Tax increase is 2.98% for 2024/25, the lowest increase of the three components that make up council tax in Ipswich, and the continuation of a discount scheme for residents claiming Local Council Tax Reduction, which we expect to result in over 7,000 customers benefiting from lower or zero council tax bills.”