Council agrees budget and strikes District rate for 2023-2024
10th February 2023
At a Special Council meeting held on Thursday 09 February 2023 at The Grange, Omagh, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council agreed its revenue budget of £43.3 million, a Capital Plan of £10.1 million and the District Rate for 2023-2024.
The setting of the budget and the District Rate was the most challenging to date for the Council as it continues to face unprecedented financial demands due to significant ongoing inflationary and external cost pressures to deliver services, along with uncertainty around the level of Rates Support Grant. The Rates Support Grant is provided by Central Government through the Department for Communities.
Councillors struck a below inflation District Rate increase of 5.59% for domestic properties – representing approximately £21 more per year or £1.75 per month on the District Rate element of the rates bill on a property with a capital value of £100,000 – and 7.45% for non-domestic (business) properties or an extra £169 per year or £14 per month more on properties with an average net annual value of £10,000, on the 2023-2024 District Rate portion of the rates bill.
The setting of the District Rate will generate approximately £41.2million of rates income to support the delivery of Council services across the Fermanagh and Omagh district in 2023-2024 and meet the Council’s priorities as set out in the Fermanagh and Omagh Community Plan 2030 and the Council’s Corporate Plan 2020-2024.
The Council is very aware of the financial challenges faced by ratepayers and introduced service efficiencies, additional income generation opportunities and made use of available reserves to keep the District Rate as low as possible while setting it at a level that will support the continued delivery of a broad range of services and community support for ratepayers.
The services which the Council is responsible for delivering include Waste Management; Environmental Health; Registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Partnerships; Planning; Building Control and cemeteries. Alongside the delivery of these core services, the Council delivers additional services that support and enhance the wellbeing of ratepayers including leisure and recreation, theatres and tourist facilities, street cleansing and public conveniences and community and business support.
In addition to service delivery, the Council will continue with its ambitious capital investment programme in 2023-2024 to improve local infrastructure with £10.1m earmarked – and subject to receipt of £2m external funding and other financing arrangement – to invest in a number of local projects.
These projects, designed to improve the attractiveness of the district as a place to live, visit, work and invest, include upgrades to various recycling centres and play parks across the district, Fermanagh Lakeland Forum redevelopment project, a Village Regeneration Scheme through the Covid Recovery Small Settlement Regeneration Programme, Omagh Foundary Lane, Ardhowen Theatre redevelopment, Ecclesville Forest among others.
The rates bills, which are issued by Land and Property Services (LPS), is made up of the District Rate (set by Council) and the Regional Rate. The Regional Rate is agreed by the Northern Ireland Executive to support the delivery of services such as roads, health, education, emergency services, law and order and social services.
As the Regional Rate has not yet been set by the Northern Ireland Executive, the overall impact on the rates bill for 2023-2024 is not known.
The District Rate element of the rates bill is approximately 45% of the total rates bill, the other 55% is the Regional Rate element.
Further information on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s 2023-2024 budget and the setting of the District Rate, including useful Questions and Answers, is available on the rates section of the Council website at www.fermanaghomagh.com