Budget setting 2018/19

The council, like councils across the country, is facing unprecedented financial pressures, whilst still aiming to improve the services we deliver to our residents. These pressures arise from significant reductions in government funding, increasing costs and increasing numbers of people needing support and services provided by the borough.

In April 2016, the council consulted on Ambition 2020, a transformation programme to re-examine every aspect of what the council does and how we are structured to deliver the council’s vision and priorities. 89% of those who responded to the consultation supported the proposals, and it is these proposals that have provided the basis for our 2017/18 budget.

Have your say on the Council’s budget proposals

Barking and Dagenham residents have the chance to put forward their thoughts and ideas on the council’s proposed budget for next year.

The borough has a growing population with more children and elderly people who need the council’s support as they grow older. The council is faced with a budget shortfall of £63m by 2020/21 in addition to the £56m of savings it has made since 2014/15.

Councillor Dominic Twomey, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Growth, said:

“Once again we are faced with increased pressure on our budget as a result of cuts in the grants we get from government. By 2020 the government will have halved the amount of money they give us compared to 2010.

“However, we will continue to focus on improving the way we do things. We are doing everything possible to avoid having to reduce services and protect our most vulnerable residents.

“It is very important that we hear the thoughts of local people before we set our budgets for next year. These are very challenging times with difficult decisions to be made and we want to make sure we get them right. That is why we are asking as many residents as possible to get involved.”

The consultation will run until 24 January 2018.

Cllr Twomey added:

“We need to make some tough decisions to help us avoid cutting essential services while protecting our most vulnerable residents.

“But it’s hugely important local people make their views known and tell us what their priorities are before we go ahead and set our budget next year.”

“There is a lot more to do and more to be proud of – but we are more than ever determined that no-one will be left behind in our pursuit of growth for everyone.”

Council Tax bills are set to rise by 4.99% next year. This include the government’s adult social care precept of 3%. The precept will generate a further £1.6 million and can only be used for adult social care – a service that accounts for approximately 29% of the council’s total budget.

In addition, excluding the 3% adult social care precept, the council is looking to increase its own share of council tax by 1.99%. This will help to fill the gross budget gap of £22m in 2018-19; this includes a cut of £8.7m to government grants the council receives and additional budgetary pressures resulting from tackling homelessness, children’s care and support, and waste and cleaning.

Residents can submit their feedback on our consultation portal until Wednesday 24 January 2018.

There are a number of public meetings taking place across the borough:

  • Monday 8 January:  Conference Room, Barking Learning Centre. 6.30 to 8.30pm
  • Wednesday 10 January:  Meeting Room 1, Dagenham Library. 5 to 7pm
  • Tuesday 16 January :  Conference Suite, Barking and Dagenham College, Dagenham Road. 6.30 to 8pm
  • Wednesday 17 January:  Chadwell Heath Community Centre. 6.30 to 8pm

We are consulting on our budget proposals for 2018-19 and this is your chance to share your views.

Budget consultation 2018/19