Council votes and approves the budget
The budget for 2017/2018 was voted through by full Council last night with 31 votes for, and 9 against.
The budget includes raising Council Tax by 3.5 per cent, meaning an increase for a Band D property to £1,597.73 or an extra £1.04 per week.
This is an increase of £50.07 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 to £280.02.
Councillor Roger Ramsey, Leader of the Council, said:
“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.
“We face particular pressures in relation to the growing demand for supporting vulnerable children and adults through social care services. The Council saved £17.1m this last year, while minimising the impact as far as possible on its residents
“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. Consideration is being given to further options for reductions in spending alongside options for increasing council tax.
“Havering has the largest proportion of elderly residents in London with the estimated population of over 65s at 47,000, so the Council had to increase council tax to help protect the services to its most vulnerable residents.”