Sunday, March 3, 2024

Fermanagh and Omagh homeowners and businesses face 4.72% rates hike

Must read

At a Special Council meeting at the town hall in Enniskillen, councillors agreed a revenue budget of £44.3m, a Capital Plan of £13.75m, and the District Rate for 2024/25.

The council said it has implemented £1.3m in budget savings, drawn £1m from the Covid-19 reserve, and actively pursued external funding and income generation opportunities to minimise this year’s District Rate increase and its impact on ratepayers.

Councillors struck a District Rate increase of 4.72% for domestic (residential) and non-domestic (business) properties, representing an increase of £1.83 per month for the average home with a capital value of £115,000, and an extra £9.58 per month for business premises with an average net annual value of £10,000.

The council allocated an additional £315,000 in 2024-2025 to support local communities and strategic growth.

This is in addition to the allocation of more than £800,000 to fund a grants and bursary programme for community, voluntary and sporting organisations and individuals across the district, and more than £250,000 to support the provision of local advice services for residents, as has been allocated in previous years.

The council also plans for an ambitious £13.75m capital investment programme in 2024/25 to improve local infrastructure and facilities.

Almost half the cost of the capital investment programme attracts external funding opportunities, helping minimise the cost to ratepayers.

In total, £7.75m of the projects attract £6.4m external funding, including the proposed redevelopment of the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum, which is subject to approval of a full business case and which, if approved, will secure total Levelling Up Funding (LUF) of £20m.

Other proposed capital projects totalling £6m are council-funded. These include:

  • Upgrading play areas across the district,
  • Strategic Capital Projects and Community Capital Grants,
  • Leisure centre upgrade works,
  • Investment in new vehicles, equipment and plant for service delivery; and
  • Development works at waste facilities.

The setting of the District Rate will generate approximately £43.1m of rates income to support the delivery of key services.

The council is responsible for delivering a range services, including waste collection and disposal; Environmental Health; registration of births, deaths marriages and civil partnerships; planning; building control and cemeteries.

It also delivers additional services such as leisure and recreation, theatres and tourist facilities, street cleansing and public conveniences, and community and business support.

The second part of the rates bill, the regional rate, has yet to be set by Stormont.

Latest article