Pressure Push Council Tax up by 3.8%

The Council met this week (21/2/18) to deliberate and subsequently agree the Budget and a 3.8% increase on Council Tax for 2018/19.

As Council funding continues to shrink, we need to make sure that the money we do spend is done so wisely and in line with the priorities of the community. Setting a balanced budget is extremely difficult against all the competing demands and pressures, however it is vital that we formulate a budget that will provide a decent and affordable service to our residents whilst ensuring our more vulnerable people get the care they deserve. Whilst recent government rules would have permitted a rise of up to 6%, for 2018/19 the agreed overall Council Tax increase is 3.8%, slightly less than current RPI of 4.0%. This is made up as follows:

Havering Council                 +1.5%

Mayor of London                 +5.1%

Adult Social Care Precept  +2.0%

The Mayor of London has increased his element by 5.1% to pay for more police resources. This then gives an overall Council Tax for 2018/19 of £1,658.06 (Band D), an increase of £60.33 or £1.16 per week from 2017/18.

Some key features of the budget are set out below:

  • Central government grant reducing from £12.3m this year to zero by 2020/21
  • Pressures continue in Social Care, Children’s Services and Homelessness
  • A further £1m is required to pay for our waste disposal
  • Public Health Grant reduced by £289,000
  • New Homes Bonus reduced by £2.640m
  • Education Services Grant reduced by £835,000
  • Reflects £56m of savings made since 2014/15
  • Further savings of £2.175m in 2018/19
  • Additional £115,000 channelled into tackling fraud
  • £3m of capital funding to resurface roads and pavements

To see the budget proposals and report, please click HERE

I seconded the Budget and gave a speech which can be viewed at budget speech 2018#3.

Happy to answer any queries on the Council budget and Council Tax.

Cllr Clarence Barrett

  1. So Mr. Khan has increased his element of our council tax by 5.1% to pay for more police resources. That’s reassuring! After all our local police stations/shops have finally been closed and our police will be busy fighting crime in the neighbouring boroughs we are going to be joined with [who have higher crime rates than Havering], could Mr. Khan tell us just what he will be spending our share of his element on.

  2. In 2012, the coalition government introduced a rule which meant that any proposal to increase council tax by 2% or more in England must be put to a local referendum.

    Now this has been dropped council tax will rise whether any money is needed or not.

    A referendum should be given as to whether the latest unacceptable 3.5% increase should go ahead.

    • The council tax increase is made up of adult social care precept (2%), general council tax (1.5%) and the Mayor of London Precept (5%). The element subject to referendum is general council tax which can now be increased by 2.99% without the need for a referendum. While the overall increase is about 3.5%, the possible increase, which many councils have implemented, is 6%.

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