Monday 23 January 2017

Brent Council calls on residents to make their views known on 2017-18 budget

Brent Council has issued a press release advertising the last meetings where residents can express views on the upcoming 2017-18 and by implication the 2018-19 and 2019-20 budgets.   The release (below) covers 'spending' plans but not the proposed cuts or increases in charges, although it does mention 'raising income to balance the books'. 

The Council is likely to front-load an increase in Council Tax of 4.99% in 2017-18 and again in 2018-19 but with a smaller increase in 2019-20. If this is approved 'savings' will  be needed of £5.4m in 2017-18, £0.7m in 2018-19 and a whopping £13.7m in 2019-20.  The front-loading was offered by the government so that councils can address (but only very partially) the rising costs of adult social care:
Residents across the borough are being called to have their say on Brent Council's tax and spending proposals for next year before an online consultation closes on February, 1 and at a final round of upcoming meetings with councillors.

The Brent Connects meetings at Kilburn (January, 24), Willesden (February, 7) and Kingsbury & Kenton (February, 8) form part of a ten-week consultation on the council's budget plans.

Shoppers to Asda in Wembley on Monday 30 January will also have the chance to give their views, as a supermarket roadshow of the proposals makes its final stop having visited Morrisons in Queensbury on January 14, and Sainsbury's in Willesden on January 18.

Online and at the meetings, residents will have the opportunity to have their say on the council's plans to raise council tax in response to budget cuts from central government, in order to protect services.
As well as discussing how the council plans to raise income to balance the books, views are also sought on the council's spending proposals for 2017/18.

Currently, these include spending in areas to help make Brent cleaner and safer, rubbish and recycling collection, boosting jobs and skills, protecting the vulnerable, increasing council housing, maintaining parks and open spaces and giving every child the best start in life possible.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said:

"It is vital that the work we do as a Council reflects the priorities of our residents. That's we are asking the people of Brent to tell us what matters to them. I would encourage as many people as possible to visit the website, or join us at their local Brent Connects meetings"

Have your say online by 1 February 2017 or come along to one of the Brent Connects public meetings in January or February 2017.
Views taken at the Willesden and the Kingsbury & Kenton Brent Connects meetings, after the consultation portal has closed, will be added as an appendix to the Cabinet report and considered on Monday 13 February 2017 at the Cabinet meeting.

Full Council will then make a decision on the final budget for 2017/18 on Monday 27 February 2017.
Savings already agreed and new policy options can be found here:

1 comment:

Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group said...

Brent is not offering any consultation about restoring 100% Council Tax Reduction to those too poor to be taxed, yet proposes a Council Tax increase.

Why should the poorest people in Brent be obliged to pay to be punished for their poverty?