Camden sets budget and Council Tax rate for 2020/2021
Camden councillors have approved an ambitious budget to support residents into work, invest in pre-school children and their families, protect young people from violent crime and enhance much loved community facilities, including libraries and leisure centres (Monday 2 March 2020).
Last week the Marmot report was published revealing that, for the first time in a century, life expectancy in England has fallen. Camden Council remains committed to providing everyone with the best opportunities to live, work and age well here in Camden, despite seeing the money it gets from Government cut in half since 2010. Investment in Camden’s key services will ensure the most vulnerable citizens are protected, children and young people get the best start in life and the borough’s communities can thrive.
The new budget will include a 3.99% rise in council tax to help fund these key services, but 10,000 of the most hard-pressed households will be exempt from paying Council Tax through a revamped Council Tax Support scheme.
“A decade of Government austerity and a mounting housing crisis has meant far too many people are getting left behind and too many people’s lives are blighted by poor housing conditions, child poverty, and insecure work.
“We want Camden to be different. We want to fight inequality and take away the barriers that all too often prevent residents from accessing the opportunities that are on their doorstep.
“We’re proud to be taking a long-term approach to budgeting, focusing on areas that we know will have the greatest impact in tackling inequality and supporting residents who are struggling to make ends meet. We are also taking bold action to meet the climate crisis and act on the recommendations of last year’s citizen’s assembly.”
The council’s budget sets out the key areas of investment over the next year including funding new youth workers, support for those facing homelessness and continuing to deliver one of the biggest council housing programmes in the country.
“We are continuing to invest in key areas that will improve life outcomes – in the critical first few years of our children’s lives, in measures that will help residents out of poverty, in opportunities for young people, in support to help people progress into local and well-paid work. Every penny we do have is being invested in tackling the issues you’ve told us are the most important.”
Half of the money raised from this year’s council tax will be dedicated to protecting care services for Camden’s elderly residents, those living with dementia, mental health issues or disabilities, helping to provide the care and support needed to enable residents to live full and healthy lives in Camden.
Other funds will go towards investment in Early Years Services to help Camden’s youngest residents to have the best start in life, with 30 hours of free early education available to three- and four-year olds from low income families.
A new Safer Camden Network team will be supported to tackle issues of knife crime, safety within our communities and drug activity in the borough while the council’s Sustainability team will receive investment to ensure that the recommendations of the Climate Citizen’s Assembly can be carried out to meet the climate crisis.
Specific investments include: £167.6m to support vulnerable adults and older people, £40.9m for Early Years Service, £5m to help residents into fulfilling work and reduce in-work poverty - which is being spent between 2019 and 2022, £270K for a Safer Camden Network, £25.6m for the Council Tax Support Scheme and £35.8m to keep 250 kilometres of Camden’s public highways, parks and housing estates clean.
You can read the report councillors agreed detailing the council's budget for 2020/2021 on our website.
You can find out more about Camden's financial challenge in this video: