Have your say on new homes bonus money
South Northamptonshire Council (SNC) commenced consultation, Monday 11 March, on the proposals of how to best use the funds gained from new homes bonus money.
SNC are to establish funds to help local communities, voluntary groups, promote affordable housing and general economic development in the district, which will see millions paid out in the coming years.
From an initial pot of £2 million, the Council is proposing that 50 per cent is used to fund council services and the other half is used to fund projects in local communities and voluntary groups.
Councillor Ian McCord portfolio holder for resources and change management, said: “By recycling the affordable homes element of this grant back into more housing we can continue to deliver more affordable homes in the district. This in turn gives more new homes bonus, which allows more investment, it is a virtuous spiral.
“We need to find a way to satisfy competing aims, to acknowledge that communities that have taken additional housing should be rewarded, but also to maintain services for all residents of the district as grant funding falls away.
“I believe that this is a happy compromise that acknowledges a role for local communities, and will also provide additional funding for community and voluntary groups.
“I want to see the parish councils putting forward their ideas, but also the local groups such as scouts, guides and brownies, the mums and toddlers, history societies and over 50s clubs, where a small grant to buy additional equipment will make a huge difference.”
The consultation was open for comments on the 11 March and will close on 31 May 2013. Adoption of the policy will commence once the report has gone back to Cabinet in the summer (date to be announced) Comments and views will be considered at the Cabinet meeting.
For more details and to download a copy of the proposal, please visit www.southnorthants.gov.uk and click on the ‘have your say’ link. Any comments should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes • New Homes Bonus is paid at an amount equal to the council tax for each new property, or empty property returned to use, brought onto the register of council tax for the first six years. There is also an additional payment of £350 for every affordable home.
• SNC have received £183,000 in 2011, £651,000 last year and are due to get £1.165 million this year. Unlike many local authorities SNC have treated this as windfall income and not used it for mainstream services. We have treated it this way as we now propose to bring it into the base budget.
• Those communities that have taken new housing will receive 30 per cent, voluntary and charity sector groups will get 10 per cent and the remaining 10 per cent spent on activities to promote the economic viability of the district.
• The government are encouraging councils to reward those areas that have taken additional housing by supporting local projects from this funding stream, but are also stating that spending power is untouched as they add the NHB back into the funding equations.
• Villages like Silverstone, where 100 new homes have been recently built could get up to £200,000 over the six years of the scheme; the grants will be open to all groups within the parish where the housing was delivered.
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South Northamptonshire Council
Tel: 01327 322312