More investment approved as council finances remain strong

Published date

Harlow Council continues to direct even more funding to deliver its priorities as it maintains a strong financial position.

The council’s latest financial performance report considered at Harlow’s Cabinet meeting on 30 November highlights that the council continues to operate a strong financial position whilst investing more money into key priorities. 

The report shows that for the second quarter of the financial year running spending in Harlow Council’s core running costs (General Fund budget) remains within budget. This is despite councils up and down the country facing difficult financial challenges and cutbacks due to reducing income and rising costs.

The council, like all households, has faced significant rising costs of energy and insurance premiums. Despite this, the council continues to balance its books for the second quarter of the year. This has been achieved through small savings which don’t impact on service delivery, carefully management of budgets across the council and for the second quarter in a row better than expected income from the performance of the Harvey Centre and car park income is also starting to increase.

This strong financial performance has enabled Cabinet to approved even more investment into restoring pride in Harlow with more money for replacing broken and worn street name signs as part of a town-wide programme and more money for rebuilding our town and securing investment into Harlow with £2 million allocated to Harlow Innovation Park to attract new investment from businesses who want to move to Harlow.  

Councillor James Leppard, cabinet portfolio holder for finance and governance, said:

"Through watching carefully how we spend every penny of our council taxpayers' money and taking prudent financial decisions like receiving income from the Harvey Centre, for the second financial quarter running the council is forecast to operate well within budget for 2023 to 2024.

"Not only are we within budget, but we are also directing even more money to deliver our priorities like rebuilding our town, securing investment into Harlow, and restoring pride in Harlow. All this on top of our investments in fixing council housing and improving council services.

“Earlier this year we froze our share of the Council Tax bill and invested record amounts into delivering our priorities all whilst maintaining a strong financial position and operating within budget. We can only do this because of our prudent and efficient management of your council tax.

“We are well aware of the tough financial challenges that all councils will face next year and in future years, but our strong finances and prudent financial management means that we are better prepared than most other councils to get through those challenges.”