Introduction by Cllr Claire Kober
Leader of Haringey Council
Over the past four years we have seen big improvements across Haringey. We have had record exam result pass rates, we’re attracting new facilities to the borough such as the National College for Digital Skills, we have more award-winning green spaces than any other comparable borough and we are bringing in new investment, such as new homes in Tottenham and the £27 million refurbishment of Alexandra Palace.
Much of this is a testament as to how we work as a team - our schools, community, partners, businesses and the council working as one on a collective desire to make our part of London better.
While I am determined to keep things improving, the truth is that we have real financial challenges. Since 2010 the government has cut the money available for us to spend on local services by 40%. By 2020 your council will be half the size we were back then. This means prioritising the things that you recognise as important, such as protecting our most vulnerable, while making tough decisions about how we spend our depleting resources.
Many of you recognised the dilemma we face in the pre-budget consultation that happened in October and November. Understandably, people found it extremely difficult to tell us what we should stop or do less of. However, there was a strong recognition for investing in prevention and early help, particularly in areas like Adult Social Care, so that we can help people experiencing problems get back on track without the need for costlier support later on.
Over the next two years we need to save around £20 million on top of the £160 million saved since 2010. In this pack you will find ideas for savings which involve changing the way we deliver services and cutting back on back office cost and other administrative costs. As part of this budget we are recommending that, for the eighth consecutive year, we freeze our share of council tax. This is the part of your bill that we control and directly funds local services. Some people argue that we should increase it to bring in more money for services but you have to bear in mind that any increase would disproportionately impact on families with low incomes and, at a time when many people are struggling to make ends meet, I don’t want to add to that burden.
Please do let us know what you think about the ideas for savings on these pages. This is your borough, your budget and your views are important.
Cllr Claire Kober
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