The Cabinet recently agreed to investigate the creation of a Housing Development Company as we look at options to increase affordable and social housing.
It comes after the Government lifted restrictions on how councils can invest in social housing.
The development company is not about the Council turning its hand to mass house building. There are many ways to increase affordable and social housing from purchasing existing homes to investing in developments by others. Building homes ourselves may be one of several options.
However, this is all at a very early stage. Setting up a company may enable us to explore all options, assess them and then possibly implement if it’s for the benefit of residents.
It’s the time of year when the number crunching is finally completed at town halls across the land and Charnwood is no different. Our final budget proposal is just about to go to Cabinet and then full council. We are considering a £5 increase for the Charnwood element of council tax – just over a 4% increase and less than 10p a week.
Please remember that the Charnwood element is about 10% of your total council tax bill, the remaining 90% is made up of charges by the county council, the police and fire service. If approved, it would put the average band D council tax charge for Charnwood to around £122, which would remain one of the lowest council tax charges in the country.
The proposed increase will enable the Council to protect frontline services to residents. For people in Loughborough, the special rate (if you live in a village or town council area you will pay a precept) is being proposed to remain the same for the fourth year running.
Finally, I’d just like to give a brief mention to our newest councillor, Paul Baines, who won the Anstey by-election following the sad passing of John Sutherington. I would like to welcome Cllr Baines to the organisation and I hope he enjoys serving residents in his ward and playing a part in making our communities stronger.