Stevenage Borough Council has passed a balanced budget for 2024/25 but has admitted that the local authority, as with many others, is "experiencing tough times".

The budget was passed during a meeting yesterday (Wednesday, February 21) and outlines how the council intends to continue to run "most of its services", despite a £3.7 million reduction in Government funding and £7.4 million in unfunded inflation since 2010/11.

A net budget of £12.788 million has been passed by the local authority, up £1.224 million from last year's figure.

Last year, Stevenage Borough Council cut its play centres as a method of balancing its books, however, it has confirmed that no similar major cuts have been planned in this year's budget.

The Comet: The Stevenage Borough Council building, Danestrete.The Stevenage Borough Council building, Danestrete. (Image: Archant)

Instead, the council has focussed on transforming its current services to reduce costs.

For example, the local authority aims to increase the online usage of its customer support centre, reducing in-person visits in the process.

This will save the council a projected £200,601 in 2024/25.

Council tax paid to Stevenage Borough Council for a Band C property will increase by £6.18 (2.99 per cent) per year.

The local authority also told this paper that increases to fees and parking charges were "an inevitability".

The Comet: The leader of Stevenage Borough Council, Cllr Richard Henry.The leader of Stevenage Borough Council, Cllr Richard Henry. (Image: Stevenage Borough Council)

Fees, charges and commercial rent income is projected to save the council £549,974.

Cllr Richard Henry, the leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: "Stevenage and other local authorities are experiencing tough times.

"We are affected by rising inflationary costs but are focused on continuing to maintain financial security through our transformation programme and commercial and insourcing strategy, so we can deliver vital front-line services, supporting our most vulnerable residents, housing the homeless, delivering help and emergency funding to businesses and keeping our public spaces safe.


"Sadly, we have identified we need to save over £1million each year, due to the gap between cost pressures and increases in funding.

“I would like to express a huge thank you to all council staff who carried out this fantastic work.

"Our members and officers have worked hard together to strive to ensure that we continue to have sufficient money to run our services whilst at the same time responding to our residents’ top priorities such as regenerating our town, building more social and affordable homes, and reducing anti-social behaviour."