Mole Valley District Council Balancing its Budget and Investing in Mole Valley
On Friday 17th December 2021, Councils were told how much money they would receive from Government between April 2022 and March 2023. Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) has, for many months, been carefully preparing for this announcement. MVDC knew the ongoing cost of Covid would make it difficult to ensure a balanced budget for 2022/23 while maintaining essential services for residents and businesses, as well as investing in improvements to the district.
A report detailing how MVDC proposes to meet this challenge has been published on its website. It sets out the potential efficiencies and money generating projects that have been identified to put forward a balanced budget following the Government’s announcement.
Councillor Bridget Kendrick, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Balancing our 2022/23 budget has been a major focus for us all over the last year. Alongside every other Council, business, organisation and individual in the country, Covid brought many challenges, including financial ones. While prudent financial management enabled us to fund any overspend during 2021/22 from reserves, it was recognised that this was not sustainable in the longer term.
“The proposed budget, which will be considered through several Council meetings due to be held in January and February next year, includes a £4.95 increase in Council Tax on a band D property. This increase has been kept down by the proposed introduction of a range of efficiencies, the introduction of new income streams, and modest increases in fees and charges. These proposals will protect essential services while funding £1.2 million of ongoing Covid financial pressures, such as lost income from parking, commercial rent and Dorking Halls.
“In balancing the need to encourage sustainable forms of travel with continuing support for our town and village centres, we propose committing £1 million funding to support our ongoing car park improvement programme, alongside an increase of 10p per hour in parking charges, the first increase since 2018, and the removal of charges for RingGo users. We are also proposing to provide £0.3m to support initiatives such as the Employment and Skills Hub in Leatherhead, securing leisure centre provision in Dorking and Leatherhead, enhancing arts capacity at Dorking Halls, carbon reduction and the use of renewable power sources. We’ve also included proposals to fund a new playground in Fetcham and football pitch drainage improvements in Holmwood. It may be a surprise to residents that this Council receives just 9% of their total Council Tax bill. We know residents quite rightly expect every penny coming to MVDC be used to maintain essential services for their benefit, and I feel this proposed budget achieves that aim.
“We knew making such important decisions for the district would be complex, and they haven’t been easy. We have considered every proposal carefully to ensure that those included minimise the impact on the delivery of services, while contributing to a balanced budget. I hope that you can take the time to read this report in detail. If you have any comments you’d like taken into consideration, please email email@example.com or send via post to ‘Pippbrook Office, Dorking, RH41SJ’.
“In early 2022 the report with all the details on how these efficiencies are proposed to be made will be brought to several meetings, as follows*”
Standing Budget Panel – 4 & 5 January 2022 7pm – Virtual meeting, webcast on YouTube
Scrutiny Committee – 18 January 2022 7pm – Virtual meeting, webcast on YouTube
Cabinet Meeting – 8 February 2022 7pm – Public Viewing will be available, also webcast on YouTube
Council Meeting – 22 February 2022 7pm – Public Viewing will be available, audio file available after the meeting
*Details subject to change in accordance with restrictions in place at the time.