West Northamptonshire Council Draft Budget 2023/24 Consultation

Closed 31 Jan 2023

Opened 21 Dec 2022

Feedback updated 21 Apr 2023

We asked

The budget for West Northamptonshire Council will provide a range of services to residents and businesses across the area including vital services like social care, refuse collection and recycling, transport, highways, planning and wellbeing.

The budget consultation period commenced on 21 December 2022 and ended on 31 January 2023.

The consultation provided residents, local partners, and other stakeholders the opportunity to review the budget proposals and provide feedback during the consultation period.

Although the consultation focused on the draft budget proposals that would likely affect residents and service users, respondents were invited to make comments on any part of the Draft Budget 2023-2024.

The council also invited comments on its proposals contained within the Draft Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget 2023-2024 and Medium Term Financial Plan.

You said

Using the various means available to consultees, local people and organisations provided 1203 responses to the West Northamptonshire Council Draft Budget 2023-2024 Consultation.

The following is a summary of the responses received to the proposals:

•    31 per cent of respondents said they strongly agree or tend to agree Council Tax should increase by 2.99 per cent to help fund services while 56 per cent said they tend to disagree or strongly disagree. 12 per cent neither agree nor disagree or do not know. A total of 721 comments were received for this proposal.
•    34 per cent of respondents said they strongly agree or tend to agree that Council Tax should increase by a further 2 per cent to fund the increase in providing Adult Social Care while 51 per cent said they tend to disagree or strongly disagree. 15 per cent neither agree nor disagree or do not know. A total of 494 comments were received for this proposal.
•    30 per cent of respondents said that they strongly or tend to agree to the proposal to maximise the income from certain discretionary services in order to support essential services. 52 per cent tend to disagree or strongly disagree, 18 per cent neither agree nor disagree or do not know. 355 comments were received on the proposal.
•    An invitation to comment on the Draft General Fund Capital Programme 2023-2027 received 148 comments.
•    26 per cent strongly agree or tend to agree to a proposal to review services. 58 per cent tend to disagree or strongly disagree, and 16 per cent neither agree nor disagree. 496 comments were received on this proposal.

  • Additional comments on the Draft Budget were invited, 97 further comments were received.
  • 42 per cent strongly agree or tend to agree to the Draft Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget proposal to increase rent by 7 per cent across the councils housing stock. 27 per cent tend to disagree or strongly disagree, 31 per cent neither agree nor disagree or do not know. 172 comments were received on this proposal. 
  • 50 per cent strongly agree or tend to agree to the Draft HRA proposal to increase garage rents and commuter surcharges by 10 per cent. 15 per cent tend to disagree or strongly disagree, 36 per cent neither agree nor disagree or do not know.
  • 31 per cent strongly agree or tend to agree to the Draft HRA proposal to increase general service charges by 10 per cent. 38 per cent tend to disagree or strongly disagree, 31 per cent neither agree nor disagree or do not know.
  • Additional comments were invited on the HRA Capital Programme, 34 comments were received.

For more information about the responses to the West Northamptonshire Council Draft Budget 2022-23 Consultation, please see the below consultation analysis report.

We did

Cabinet approved the 2023-2024 Budget for West Northamptonshire and recommended the Budget to the Full Council meeting on 22 February 2023. Full details are available on the Cabinet and Full Council meeting papers:

Results updated 7 Feb 2023

This consultation is now closed.

A copy of the consultation analysis report is available below along with a web link to the 15 February 2022 Cabinet meeting papers.




Every year the Council plans for the money it will have available and how it should spend it in line with the priority objectives set out in its Corporate Plan. At a meeting held on 20 December, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet approved for consultation its draft budget for 2023-24 and we are now seeking views on these proposals.

The Council successfully delivered a balanced budget for its first year of operation within 2021/22 and set a balanced budget for the current year (2022/23).

However, like all councils up and down the country, there have been a number of unprecedented financial issues throughout this financial year which have significantly increased the cost-of-service delivery.

The main financial issues include:

  • Inflationary and cost of living pressures impacting directly on the cost of providing services.
  • Ongoing financial impact of COVID allied with the withdrawal of significant COVID funds previously received.
  • Continued additional demand led and inflationary pressures within the Children’s Trust.
  • Continued additional demand led pressures within the Adult Social Care.
  • Additional operator costs in providing school transport for children.
  • Cost of living pay award expected to be significantly greater than the amount included at the time of setting the budget based on the latest national pay award offer made by the employers’ organisation.

With the financial, and demand challenges most evident around supporting children in care, vulnerable adults, and those needing temporary housing and transport to school, the Council has acted quickly and early to identify a range of proposed measures to tackle the financial challenges in the short to medium term.

Our draft budget for 2023/24, continues this work and includes proposals for the coming financial year which will ensure we continue to meet our statutory duties, protecting, as far as possible, the vital services we deliver to our communities in the most efficient and effective way possible.

A broad overview of the main proposals:

  • To increase the average Council Tax by 4.99 per cent, comprising of 2.99 per cent core tax and a further 2 per cent adult social care precept, which is the maximum amount permitted by Government. The increase is less than half the current rate of inflation.
  • To protect funding to meet demands on critical services by increasing fees and charges for discretionary services, where people have a choice whether they use the service, such as garden waste collection and car parking. This will also align our fees with national averages and fairly reflect operating costs.
  • A proposed Capital Programme including improvements to local roads, mending potholes, and schemes to improve residents’ wellbeing, reduce health inequalities and support communities.
  • To review services to make them more efficient and save taxpayers money including:
    • A review of the current Home to School Transport Policy, processes, and systems. A public consultation on this proposal will take place early next year
    • Introducing a three-weekly waste collection in the South Northants and parts of Northampton area to bring in line with the waste collections for Daventry
  • To restructure service areas in the Council, introducing new or reviewing and improving ways of working to generate savings without impacting the delivery of services and introducing tighter controls on spending across the authority.

Recognising the major pressures and demand for adult and children’s services, the draft budget proposes to invest significant extra funding into these areas to improve preventative and cost-effective care for West Northamptonshire’s most vulnerable residents and to respond to the significant increase in the demand for these critical services.

The Council will also continue to deliver on plans to drive economic growth in West Northants with further progress expected on multi-million-pound plans to revitalise the centre of Northampton through the Government’s Future High Streets and Towns Funds, starting in the new year with the Market Square transformation.

The Council has also published a draft Housing Revenue Account (HRA) Budget for 2023/24. The HRA is a ring-fenced account which records the cost of managing the Council’s housing stock. These costs are funded by tenants’ rents, and tenants/leaseholders’ service charges. The Council is proposing to increase rents by 7%, an average increase of £6.79 per week, and to also increase service charges and garage rents by 10%. This proposed increase in rent is critical in funding the maintenance and delivery of ‘fit for purpose’ housing. We recognise that this is a very financially challenging time for people, and have therefore set aside a hardship fund to provide support to tenants who may be facing additional financial difficulties as a result of the increase.

Your feedback on these proposals within this budget consultation is really important to us. All consultation feedback will be analysed and considered and will help councillors make a final decision on the budget at the West Northamptonshire Council Full Council meeting on 22 February 2023. This meeting is held in public.

Anyone wishing to submit a statement to the meeting must contact Democratic Services by email (democraticservices@westnorthants.gov.uk) by post or in person at One Angel Square, Angel Street, Northampton, NN1 1ED by 6pm on 21 February 2023. Up to three members of the public are permitted to speak for up to three minutes each on any agenda item although this may be extended at the Chair’s discretion.

Related Documents

Please read the related documents for a better understanding of the budget proposals before you comment on them.

Have your say

The following sections provide further details of the budget proposals that residents and service users may have the strongest views on, however, you can comment on anything within the Draft Budget in the comment boxes. Please tell us your views by completing this questionnaire. You do not have to answer all of the questions or give us your feedback on every section.

You can also access this questionnaire online free of charge at any West Northamptonshire Council library. Please visit https://www.westnorthants.gov.uk/libraries or telephone 0300 126 7000 to check opening times.

Alternatively, you can email or send your comments in by post using the contact details below.

You can also hold your own group discussion with others and provide your joint feedback either by completing the online Group Facilitator’s Feedback Form or by downloading the PDF version below and emailing or posting the form back to us.

If you have any queries, comments or would like a copy of this questionnaire in another format (including easy read or large print) you can contact us by email, post, or telephone. Our contact details are as follows:

Email address: haveyoursay@westnorthants.gov.uk

Telephone: 0300 126 7000

Postal address:

  • Budget Consultation Response
  • West Northamptonshire Council
  • The Guildhall 
  • St Giles' Square
  • Northampton
  • NN1 1DE

The deadline for completing this questionnaire is midnight on 31 January 2023.

Your feedback will be part of a report with other people’s feedback, so you will not be personally identified.

For information about how consultation and engagement responses are managed, please see the consultation and engagement privacy notice.

Thank you for helping us by completing this questionnaire.


  • Consultations
  • Council tax
  • Finance