At a meeting of Watford’s Council last night, Monday 24th January 2022, Councillors agreed an ambitious and forward thinking budget for the town for 2022/23.
The budget set out a 1.5% increase in council tax, far below the rate of inflation which currently stands about 5%, and is expected to be the lowest increase across Hertfordshire, for the second year in a row. In real terms, this equates to an 8p increase on a band D property per week.
The council now generates more income from property investments than it does from council tax. In addition, the strong performance of the Council’s Croxley Business Park in 2021/22 has allowed the council to create a dedicated sustainability fund to support the council’s environmental projects including revitalising the River Colne, Cassiobury Wetlands, more tree planting and tackling littering and fly-tipping.
The budget also make provisions for funding of important projects including:
- Supporting businesses and jobs
- Investing in parks and leisure facilities
- Improvements to St Albans Road, Market Street and Queens Road
- Ending rough sleeping
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said “We are conscious of the increasing cost of living and energy bills which have hit local people hard. By only increasing Watford’s share of council tax by 1.5% this year we are doing all we can to keep costs down for residents while ensuring we can deliver the quality services they have come to expect of a Lib Dem-run council.
“We have managed our finances carefully and been able to respond well to the pressures that the pandemic has brought to our town over the last two years.
“Above all, this budget clearly demonstrates our vision for Watford: a place that cares for every resident, with a determination to end rough sleeping; that recognises the importance of investing in local areas and having some of the best parks in the country; an administration that values the local environment and is committed to responding to the climate emergency and that is working with businesses to help them succeed and grow.”
- Watford Council Agenda including budget available here.