Council set to consider 3.99% council tax rise in response to Government funding cuts
Camden Council is set to consider a council tax rise of 3.99% for 2019/2020 at its meeting on Monday 25 February 2019.
The rise is needed to plug the gap created by repeated government cuts to the Council’s grant since 2010 and rising costs for key services. Camden Council has already had to reduce its budget by £169 million since 2010, to be followed by a further estimated £35-40 million from its annual budget by 2022 – including £23m in 2019/2020 alone.
The rise will be made up from a 2.99% core council tax increase, and an additional 1% dedicated to adult social care, known as the adult social care precept. The rise would be equivalent to an extra 94p per week for a Band D property in Camden.
We are attempting to hold back a tidal wave of relentless pressure on Camden’s public services – and we are now reaching tipping point. We will continue to reduce costs where we can but if we are to protect core public services such as care for older people and those with disabilities and deal with growing issues including street homelessness, we need government to properly support councils and end austerity.
“Through our community vision, Camden 2025, residents have told us what they want Camden to be like in the coming years and we will continue to invest in areas where we can make the greatest impact - in housing and jobs for everyone, community hubs like our libraries and to tackle deep-rooted challenges including youth violence and bad air quality. But we need the government to put in place a long-term funding plan for local government that will allow us to continue to deliver vital services sustainably.
Camden Council is set to spend £1.16bn on public services and building homes, facilities and infrastructure over the next financial year, including £279.7 million on children, schools and families and £167.6 million on older people, those with disabilities and people at risk of homelessness.
On Tuesday (19 February) it announced a £1.5 million investment to keep its libraries open and ensure they offer the latest digital technology. This includes installing brand new PCs, new self-service kiosks to make access to library services quicker and easier and upgrading computer networks, with faster internet connection.
The Council is also investing £5million on personalised support helping residents who are long-term unemployed get into work, including a focus on ensuring jobs are made accessible for people with disabilities or with mental ill-health, which will save money in the long-term.
Camden Council has published a series of proposals design to close its budget gap on its website.
Camden Council is also set to send out its business rates bills for 2019/2020. These rates are set by the government, not Camden Council. We expect that 6,000 businesses in Camden will receive support with their business rates in 2019/2020.
Camden Council is committed to working on a long-term plan to support local businesses and has joined other London councils and the Mayor in calling for a fairer and more locally controlled business rates system.
You can find out more about Camden's financial challenge by watching our video.