Brent residents face cuts to bin collections as council tax looks set to increase by more than £100 in April.

The draft budget proposal for 2023/24 was waved through at Brent Council's cabinet meeting on Monday, February 6, with the council needing to make savings of £13.5 million.

The final decision on whether residents' council tax bills will increase by 4.99 per cent is due to be made at the full council meeting on February 23.

There will be a further one per cent rise from the Mayor of London’s office – the biggest since Sadiq Khan took on the role.

In November, the Government decided to lift the referendum cap, meaning councils can raise taxes by 4.99 per cent annually without the need for it to be voted in by residents.

Cllr Daniel Kennelly told the cabinet: “Difficult decisions have been forced onto local government by a government that has run out of ideas. I recognise that the rise in council tax is unfair upon every member of the community, it is a regressive tax and should have been scrapped a very long time ago.

He added: “Unfortunately, with rising costs of adult social care and children’s services, I feel that we must make this difficult choice to protect those whose voices are not always heard.”

The rise will still be less than the rate of inflation, which is currently over ten per cent.

The new waste contract with Veolia outlines savings being made via recycling collections being spread over two weeks as opposed to weekly – paper and card one week and plastics, glass, and cans the next.

Cllr Rita Conneely said: “Brent is suffering under a decade of cumulative cuts to all parts of our public sector, as well as the current cost-of-living crisis. There is no scenario where we say these economic choices that have been implemented by central government are successful for our local community or our residents.”

She added: “There absolutely are cuts that are included in this budget and it’s important for us to be clear and honest about these.”  

The leader of the Brent Liberal Democrat group, Cllr Anton Georgiou, said he will vote against the budget proposal later in the month. He said to the cabinet: “Whilst every year for the past decade, council tax has increased, the state of our area has declined, and local services have diminished or totally disappeared.” 

He added: “I think it’s time we questioned the fairness of every increasing council tax, a regressive form or taxation, particularly when large portions of monies collected do not actually benefit Brent but are rather the increases forced onto us by the Tory government and the Mayor of London.”

Council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt said: “Despite all the challenges, this administration is putting its money where its mouth is. This budget is a labour of love, of making sure that every single one of our residents get that help and get that support.”

The final budget will be voted on at the full council meeting on February 23.

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