Council tax set to rise in Barking and Dagenham
PUBLISHED: 16:17 13 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:39 14 December 2017
Council tax bills are set to rise and street cleaning could be cut back as the town hall tightens its belt to save £63million by 2021.
Come and have your say
The council is holding four meetings where residents can say where they think cuts should be made.
Meeting room one in Dagenham Library on January 10 from 5.00pm – 7.00pm, Conference suite in Barking and Dagenham College, Dagenham Road, on January 16 from 6.30pm – 8.00pm, Chadwell Heath Community Centre on January 17 from 6.30pm – 8.00pm.
Barking and Dagenham Council made the announcement today as it launches a public consultation to allow resident to have their say on where savings should be made.
Proposals for next year’s budget includes increasing council tax by 4.99 per cent, reducing street cleaning in ‘low footfall’ areas to save £439,000 and saving £269,000 by axing the Summer Festival Programme which offers a catalogue of free events in the borough’s parks.
Councillor Dominic Twomey, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and growth, said: “Once again we are faced with increased pressure on our budget as a result of cuts in the grants we get from government. By 2020 the Government will have halved the amount of money they give us compared to 2010.
“However, we will continue to focus on improving the way we do things. We are doing everything possible to avoid having to reduce services and protect our most vulnerable residents.
“It is very important that we hear the thoughts of local people before we set our budgets for next year. These are very challenging times with difficult decisions to be made and we want to make sure we get them right. That is why we are asking as many residents as possible to get involved.”
The 4.99 per cent predicted increase in council tax includes the government’s adult social care precept of 3pc which local authorities must use to fund support for the borough’s aging residents.
While it will raise an additional £1.6m the council currently spends £42m on adult social care which is 29% of its entire budget.
“We need to make some tough decisions to help us avoid cutting essential services while protecting our most vulnerable residents,” Cllr Twomey said.
“But it’s hugely important local people make their views known and tell us what their priorities are before we go ahead and set our budget next year.”
“There is a lot more to do and more to be proud of – but we are more than ever determined that no-one will be left behind in our pursuit of growth for everyone.”
Click here to see the full budget proposals.