Cabinet approves the budget
The budget for 2017/2018 was approved by the Council’s Cabinet last night.
The proposals include raising Council Tax by 3.5 per cent, meaning an increase for a Band D property to £1,597.73, an increase of £1.04 per week.
The Council Tax includes an increase in the LB Havering precept of £50.07 (3.95%) made up of a general increase of £24.72 and £25.35 for the Adult Social Care precept, the levy Central Government allows authorities to make to pay for services for vulnerable adults. In addition the GLA precept (the money collected by the Mayor of London) will increase by £4.02 (1.46%) to £280.02.
The continuation of the Government’s austerity measures places Havering and many local authorities, with the significant challenge of providing statutory services whilst balancing its annual revenue budget.
Councillor Roger Ramsey, Leader of the Council, said:
“The Council faces particular pressures in relation to the growing demand for supporting vulnerable children and adults through social care services. The Council saved £17.1m in 2016/17, whilst minimising the impact as far as possible on its residents. The results of our consultation show that education, caring for vulnerable adults and roads, are our residents’ highest concerns and where they would like to see continued investment.
“The 2017/18 budget proposals seek to maintain the investment in these services whilst increasing income from more commercial activity and recovering the full cost of service provision from fees and charges, whilst protecting services to residents.
“However, a budget gap of £4.347m currently remains in 2017/18 and £13.567m over the three years to 2019/20. The Council is required by law to balance its budget and therefore must take further action to address this shortfall. The Council Tax increase of 3.95% will balance the budget for 2017/18 and provide a basis from which to develop further plans to balance the budget for the period to 2019/20 and beyond.
“Havering has the largest proportion of elderly residents in London with the estimated population of over 65s at 47,000, so with this in mind the Council is considering Council Tax increases to help protect the services to its most vulnerable residents. The Budget will now be presented to Full Council on Wednesday 22 February.”