Brent residents could face an increase in Council Tax bills and parking charges
PUBLISHED: 17:49 14 October 2016 | UPDATED: 18:02 14 October 2016
Council Tax bills could be hiked by almost four per cent, parking charges increased and street lights dimmed to save costs under new town hall proposals.
Other proposals in the draft budget - savings in brackets
• Helping residents with ‘low-level nursing care needs’ to live independently (save £300,000)
• Negotiate reduction in spending on contracts with mental health service providers (£500,000)
• Negotiate a saving in the public realm contract with Veolia (£900,000)
• Reorganise the regulatory services team (£100,000)
• Participation in the London wide sexual health transformation programme to achieve better services (£600,000 over two years)
A draft of the town hall budget plans has been revealed today and it also includes outsourcing the remaining council-run two day care centres to an outside organisation, and introducing a new charge for bulk waste to be collected the next day.
It is currently free but can take up to 12 weeks to be collected.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said protecting local services is his top priority.
He said: “We know how important our local services are to the people of Brent which is why, rather than cutting back on those vital services, the option of raising income through a small council tax increase to protect these services is being considered.”
According to the report outlining the budget proposals the town hall could rake in an additional £1million by increasing parking charges in parts of the borough where demand is high.
The dimming of street lights were it is demmed ‘appropriate’ would save £100,000, the new charge for next day bulk waste collection will generate £250,000 a year and handing over the management of the day care centres will add £300,000 to its coffers.
Cllr Butt said: “Imagine your household bills went up every year, but your salary kept being cut. You would have to make some tough choices and find new ways to make your money go further.
“That’s what this council has been doing in finding new, more efficient ways to maintain and improve the services that we all need, but it has also meant making some very difficult decisions.
“The choice we face in Brent is this: will we pay a bit extra each month to keep our services available to those who need them, or will we let the government’s cuts to our budget further limit the services we can provide?”
A public consultation into the proposals will be launched next month where residents will be able to air their views.”
A final decision will be made in February.
Last week Cllr Michael Pavey stood down as the lead member for stronger communities just five months into his role due to a ‘different vision’ with Cllr Butt over the budget proposals.