Horsham District Council plans to increase its portion of the 2023/24 council tax bill by 2.99 per cent.

The change was recommended by members of the cabinet following a meeting on Thursday (January 26).

If approved by the full council later this month, it would see the bill for a Band D property rise by £4.85 from £162.09 £166.94.

While the council is confident it will balance its budget in 2023/24, the future does not look so clear.

In 2024/25, a deficit of £180,000 is forecast, rising to £1.98m in 2025/26 and £3.08m in 2026/27.

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Acting leader Tony Hogben said the situation would need ‘close attention’ over the next 12-18 months to close the gaps.

He added: “The situation is not helped by significant uncertainties around future government funding and the costs and timing regarding the collection of food waste.”

Praising the council’s ‘sustained, prudent and sensible financial management’, he added that its ‘healthy’ reserves put it in a position to be able to invest.

Mr Hogben added: “We do need to be mindful of the sizeable costs that we face over the remainder of this decade, especially an expensive replacement and refurbishment of large infrastructure projects at the same time as reducing our carbon footprint.”

The finances for 2023/24 include a £13.513m net revenue budget – £1.2m higher than the previous year – and an £8.5m capital programme.

A £15m environment and infrastructure reserve has been earmarked to tackle decarbonisation and environmental improvements as well as ongoing infrastructure work.

And £1m of reserves will be used to support people who are having problems with the cost of living rises.

The cabinet also recommended that a list of increase to various fees and charges be approved.

They included increasing the cost of garden waste collection from £44 to £49 for the first bin and from £35 to £41 for subsequent bins.