Have your say on council budget proposals
Residents are being encouraged to give their views on Barking and Dagenham Council’s 2020/21 budget proposals.
Following severe government cuts over the last ten years, the council’s proposals aim to continue to protect key services and support our most vulnerable residents.
In Barking & Dagenham government funding has been slashed by over 50 per cent, forcing the council to make savings of around £162m. At the same time there has been growing demand for services that support vulnerable adults and children, as well as growing pressure on other key services including housing and waste.
Over the last few years, the council has delivered an ambitious transformation programme, attracted investment in the borough to generate growth, while redesigning services to better meet local people’s needs.
To continue to protect frontline services, the council is proposing to increase Council Tax by 3.99%, half of this will be ring fenced to pay for Adult Social Care. This would mean paying an extra 94p per week for the average band D property.
Our borough has faced huge cuts from the government, but we won’t allow this to stop us doing all we can to provide good services for our residents – that’s why we’re not making any cuts to services in this budget.
Councillor Dominic Twomey, the council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Performance and Core Services said: “Our borough has faced huge cuts from the government, but we won’t allow this to stop us doing all we can to provide good services for our residents – that’s why we’re not making any cuts to services in this budget.
“We have increasing demands on our care services for vulnerable children and adults, and it’s important that we safeguard these essential services.
"Every year, £7 in every £10 of our budget is spent on caring for the most vulnerable people in our community – from children we need to keep safe, to elderly residents with dementia who need specialised residential care. It can cost over £60,000 a year to keep one child safe in care for a year, so we face a huge challenge in keeping vulnerable people safe without sacrificing other services that benefit the whole community. It’s a tough balancing act.
“Our residents are at the heart of every decision we make, and to protect services, we’ve transformed the way the council is run, delivering huge savings. And we’re working much more commercially to secure investment opportunities that help boost money coming into the council and the local area. This means that despite the cuts, we’re still investing where we can – in things like our new Youth Zone, and new affordable housing for residents.
“The Government recently issued its funding settlement for 2020/21 and although it does not meet the boroughs need, we will continue to do everything we can to protect and support our most vulnerable residents while delivering the services we know matter to people like better bin collections and highways repairs.”
Have your say
Residents can have their say on our 2020/21 budget proposals.
What’s more, later this month residents can also give their views in person at an event on Wednesday 22 January, 5.30 – 6.30 pm at the Barking Learning Centre.
A Facebook Live Budget Q&A session will also take place later this month and residents should look out for more information.
The consultation will close on Thursday 6 February.