Council investing to save, earn and enhance
Next year's budget will see West Northamptonshire Council invest an additional £30m in capital funding on a range of projects, some of which will help reduce costs and generate income to support services in future years.
Other schemes set to move forward in the year ahead will help tackle speeding in rural areas, create new cycleways and footpaths for healthier travel, and improve local roads.
The Council is setting aside a total of £101m in its capital programme for 2023/24 – an increase of £30m compared to its previous plans for the year. The additional expenditure is earmarked to improve local infrastructure and assets such as land, buildings, and equipment. It is separate to the revenue budget the Council spends on the day-to-day running of services, which includes funding from Council Tax.
Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of West Northamptonshire Council, said: "We're always looking for innovative and efficient ways to support and deliver services and using capital budgets to not only improve our local communities but help us make ongoing savings or generate new income is something we're particularly focusing on.
"For example, In 2023 we're planning to invest an additional £1m towards our LED street lighting initiative which will really help to reduce our energy bills year on year whilst keeping streets safely lit. We've also committed to building new commercial units for lease on Daventry's Heartlands Industrial Estate which will enable local business to grow, create jobs and provide new regular income to the public purse.
"Some of what we're planning to spend through the capital budget is aimed at improving people's lives further, such as working with parish councils on traffic calming schemes in some of our villages. And we're planning to make improvements to foster carers' homes to ensure they can continue supporting us, thereby avoiding more costly care through private providers.
"Creating a more sustainable West Northants is a key priority for us and we will continue to use our capital programme to pursue opportunities for reducing our carbon emissions. For example, alongside our plans to invest in LED lighting we will also be progressing with plans to decarbonise our leisure centres. As big energy users, this will reduce both their energy costs and emissions enormously."
New capital investment projects set to progress in the coming year include:
- Increased spend on highways maintenance and improvement
- Active travel enhancements like cycleways and footpaths
- Switch to LED street lighting
- The development of a new commercial property at Heartlands, Daventry
- Leisure centre decarbonisation scheme
- Rural vehicle speed reduction
- Replacement of play equipment and safety surfaces in parks.
Work will also continue on delivering plans to drive economic growth in West Northants with further progress expected on delivering multi-million-pound plans to revitalise the centre of Northampton through the Government's Towns Fund, starting with the Market Square transformation.
In addition to the capital programme, during the next financial year the Council will also be earmarking government public health funding to progress a range of schemes aimed at improving residents' wellbeing, reducing health inequalities and continuing to support communities through the ongoing cost of living crisis.
WNC's Cabinet will consider the full range of General Fund Capital proposals at their meeting on Monday, 13 February. View the agenda and reports on the Council's website
Posted: Mon, 06 Feb 2023 11:44 by Tracy Sampson