Introduction by Cllr Joseph Ejiofor
This consultation is now closed - thank you to everyone who took part.
A Cabinet report is now being prepared and the results of the consultation will be published before the end of February 2019.
Our borough is special, and for most of us this uniqueness is why we live here. However, in another way, Haringey, is just like most of the country – a borough facing huge financial challenges. Since 2010 central government grant funding to Haringey has reduced by £122million; our staff team has been almost halved whilst demand for our services continues to rise.
Despite that, our council is committed to protecting vital services as best we can, and ensuring the right support is there for those in our community who need it most. I want to be absolutely clear about that. However, we have to save a further nearly £20million from next year’s budget, and there remain tough decisions ahead.
Years of funding cuts by Central Government have led to unprecedented budgeting uncertainty, and we have had to find new and creative ways of dealing with that. Our population has grown, and grown older. There’s been demographic change and London’s housing crisis means there’s more demand for us to house people than before.
This year, to ensure we continue to support those who need it most, we are proposing to put more money into children’s and adults’ services. We also want to invest in a school meals pilot and to fund a youth services programme to ensure Haringey’s young people are able to thrive.
This administration was elected in May 2018 on a platform to house Haringey’s residents and to support those who need it most. We are determined to deliver 1,000 additional council homes at council rent. We know safe, secure and affordable housing is a priority for residents. It is a priority for us too. We have already become a London Living Wage employer and have committed to providing full council tax relief for our least well-off families with children.
Council Tax has been frozen in Haringey for the past 9 years. However, in order to deliver a balanced budget this year we are proposing to increase the base level of council tax by 2.99%, which adds £0.74p per week to the average council tax bill. In the past three years, the council was able to levy a supplement dedicated to supporting the cost of adult social care. We are unable to do that this year, and are still seeking to meet unfunded pressures.
Where possible, the other proposals set out in this pack aim to make our council even more efficient, and look at how we can generate more income, instead of cutting the vital services we know you rely on.
Each year these decisions are getting tougher and it is vital to us that every penny we spend goes on the things you want and need the most. We want to work with you to ensure we understand your priorities and needs.
For this to happen, we need your views on our proposals – please make your voice heard. This is your borough, and your council is here to listen.
Cllr Joseph Ejiofor
Leader of Haringey Council