Where your money goes
"Since 2010, the amount of money we receive from government has reduced and our costs have risen due to inflation and because more people need to use our services. This has left us with a £125million shortfall, or £1,400 per household.
So one of the first things I did was to appoint a Cabinet Member dedicated to finance and resources to make sure every pound we spend goes towards helping us achieve the priorities set out during the election campaign.
Over the past few years we have done our best to protect most front line services. We have saved money by making our back office processes more efficient, for example, by moving services online, and reducing the number of people we employ. The reduction in central government funding, combined with increases in costs, means, unless we do something about it, we will face a growing pressure on our budget of at least £7.5m every year.
In January 2019 we asked residents to have their say on our budget proposals for 2019/20. Most people who responded agreed with our plan to spend less money as well as increase council tax by 2.99%. For a band D property, that means an increase of 65p per week. Even though we have the 11th lowest council tax out of all the 32 London boroughs, deciding to ask people to pay more, especially in these times of economic uncertainty, has not been easy. But we are at the end of the line, and have had to make this difficult decision.
In the budget consultation, most people agreed with our proposals to prioritise our budget to make sure we can help the people who rely on our services the most. That includes help for residents who are losing out as they transfer to Universal Credit, money for training and support to get people into work, and social care for our most vulnerable residents. We will also set up a serious youth violence reduction team to help combat and prevent youth and gang violence in the borough.
People who responded to the consultation also suggested other ways that we can save money and increase our income. We will go through these responses over the coming months as they will feed into a much more detailed consultation we will do later this year as we prepare for the next budget cycle which starts in April 2020."
Cllr Danny Thorpe, Leader of the Council
Where the Council gets its money (2019/20)
|Dedicated schools grant||£299.7m|
|Council tax payers||£127.3m|
Where the Council spends its money (2019/20)
|Borough services including schools||£546.8m|
|Greater London Authority*||£26.6m|
|Environment Agency (flood defence)**||£0.2m|
|Other Levies and Special Expenses||£1.4m|
*The Council collects the Greater London Authority (GLA) precept of on behalf of the GLA from Council Tax payers.
**The Environment Agency has statutory responsibilities including the management of river defences and flooding and it generates part of its income through a local levy on boroughs.
Services on which money is spent (2019/20)
|Health and Adults||£85.8m|
|Regeneration, Enterprise and Skills||£17.2m|
|Communities and Environment||£41.4m|
|Housing and Safer Communities||£12m|
|Precepts and other levies||£28.2m|
How government funding has changed
Since 2010, the amount of money we receive from government has reduced and our costs have risen due to inflation and because more people need to use our services. This has left us with a £125million shortfall, or £1,400 per household.
There is a national funding shortage for adult social care. Authorities have been able to charge an additional “precept” on their council tax of up to 8% from 2016/17 to 2019/2020. We raised our precept by a total of 8% in the financial years 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19. This means that there has been no increase in the adult social care precept in 2019/20.