5% council tax hike in the offing as town hall counts cost of Covid-19
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
The town hall is mulling over plans to raise council tax by five per cent in a bid to plug a hole in the borough's finances.
Barking and Dagenham Council's proposal breaks down into a 1.99pc increase on the tax, plus a 3pc increase which would be ring-fenced to pay for adult social care.
In total, this would mean paying an extra £1.23 per week for the average band D property.
Cllr Dominic Twomey, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, performance and core services, said people have faced the "toughest months" over the past year, but the town hall would continue to do everything it can to support the most vulnerable while delivering essential services.
He added: "Our residents are at the heart of every decision we make and to protect services we have transformed the way the council is run, delivering huge savings."
You may also want to watch:
The local authority's response to the pandemic has included delivery of food, medicine and support to more than 2,000 vulnerable people; provision of about 250,000 lunches to youngsters and help for more than 6,000 households via food clubs.
Cllr Twomey said the cost of dealing with the virus's impact and lost income is £47million so far.
- 1 16-year-old boy stabbed in Dagenham
- 2 Arrest after girl, 14, found with facial injuries in Dagenham
- 3 Company fined £3k after supermarket in Dagenham sold booze to minor
- 4 Liverpool Street to Shenfield line suspended as person hit by train
- 5 How Dagenham are you? Take our quiz to find out.
- 6 Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas in 'crisis' warning over local plan
- 7 Primary pupils share Black History Month learning with mayor
- 8 Barking and Dagenham to develop planning app in new digital tools pilot
- 9 Who can get a Covid booster jab and how can I book one?
- 10 Urgent call for volunteer stewards at booster jab sites
He added government grants have helped but not been enough. He says there has been a shortfall of about £10m.
For every £10 available to spend, £7 goes on caring for the most vulnerable people, he explained.
He described the financial hit as "a huge hole" to fill, particularly given austerity and increasing demand on services.
The town hall chief hailed major investments - including the capital's largest film studio as well as the relocation of Billingsgate, New Spitalfields and Smithfield markets to the borough - as promising "huge" benefits.
Savings could also be in the pipeline as the council eyes the possible sale of some of its buildings now more staff work from home.
Comment on the proposals here before January 31.
A Facebook Live Q&A with Cllr Twomey and Cllr Darren Rodwell is on January 28 between 5.15pm – 6pm on the leader's Facebook page.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit a question.