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Council tax to increase by 2.99 per cent in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:08 21 February 2019

Cllr Dominic Twomey at Monday's cabinet meeting at Barking Town Hall. Picture: LBBD

Cllr Dominic Twomey at Monday's cabinet meeting at Barking Town Hall. Picture: LBBD

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The local authority's cabinet chiefs voted for the tax hike at a meeting at Barking Town Hall on Monday.

Cllr Dominic Twomey, cabinet member for finance, performance and core services, said: “Nobody is going to be really happy about further increases in council tax, but I think it’s necessary.”

He explained that freezing the tax from the financial years 2008-09 until 2015-16 had resulted in a loss of £15million which would have been collected had there been annual increases of 1.99pc.

The 2.99pc rise is the maximum increase the council can impose without being penalised or putting it to a public vote.

The council expects to make £1.8m out of the increase for services including children’s support and adult social care.

Of the £1.8m, £600,000 is due to ringfenced for care and support services.

Before cabinet chiefs voted to approve the rise, Cllr Twomey said: “It costs a significant amount of money to keep children and adults safe.

“One per cent out of 2.99pc is just crucial to deliver the budget.”

The hike will add an extra £35.87 to a band D property’s bill for the financial year 2019-20. The council’s share will rise from £1,199.63 to £1,235.50.

But bills could rise further if mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s proposal gets approved. It would see an increase in City Hall’s council tax slice of 8.9pc, or £26.28 for a band D property. The GLA’s council tax share would increase from £294.23 this financial year to £320.51 in 2019-20.

If the mayor of London’s plan gets the green light then a band D property’s overall council tax will rise from £1493.86 this financial year to £1,556.01 in 2019-20.

A council report discussed at Monday’s meeting stated that reduced funding from central government and increasing council costs meant council tax should keep pace with inflation to make sure Barking and Dagenham can meet the demands placed on it.

Cllr Twomey said: “Our challenges are there for everyone to see. We have heard that austerity has ended but we don’t see signs of that.

“We’re trying not to leave anybody behind.”

The council’s net budget for 2019-20 will be £148,820,000.

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