Council agrees budget to protect services, help households and improve open spaces

22nd February 2023


A budget designed to protect front line council services in the face of inflationary pressures has been agreed by Three Rivers District Council.

The council passed a budget on Tuesday evening (21st February) that will protect council services. Three Rivers remains one of the lowest council tax authorities in Hertfordshire and the country.

The council agreed to keep its council tax increase to less than 2p per day (11p per week) for the average Band D property. That is a rise of £5.65 a year. Only 11% (11p in the pound) of the Council tax paid by Three Rivers residents goes to Three Rivers Council with rest being taken by Hertfordshire County Council, and the Police and Crime Commissioner.  It is less for those who live in an area with a parish council who provide some services. 

Cllr Sarah Nelmes, the Council Leader, said: “This is such a tough time for people across the district -  many are facing increasing pressures with rising energy costs, inflation and the overall cost of living.  The same inflationary pressures that are affecting the way households, businesses and organisations work and what they can afford affect councils too.

“We have worked hard to produce a budget that puts the needs of residents first and the services they value. So we have not cut services or support in the way that some other councils have – and we have kept our increase as low as we possibly can to maintain all our services.

“We continue to invest in our parks and open spaces such as new facilities at Denham Way Playing Fields and South Oxhey Playing Fields as well as the award winning Leavesden Country Park and have plans to improve the Rickmansworth Aquadrome. We have planted hundreds of trees as part of the Queen's Green Canopy, and in memory of the late Queen Elizabeth II. We are continuing to fund rewilding and many other biodiversity projects, for example, air-source heat pumps, as we aim towards our net-zero target.”

The budget for 2023/24 includes savings from service efficiencies of £146,000 which increases to planned efficiencies of £329,000 by 2025/26.

The council agreed an additional budget of £30,000 to continue to support its grassland management programme and £25,000 to manage the impact of Ash Die Back on trees in the district.

The Capital Programme allows for investment of £347,000 in open spaces and leisure facilities in 2023/24 and £299,000 for improving infrastructure such as installing air source heat pumps.