Published: Tuesday, 14th January 2020
Our proposals include investing in council tax support to help our poorest residents and responding to the climate emergency.
Since 2010, the amount of money we receive from government has reduced by over £130million - that's over £1,000 per household. This decade of austerity, combined with increases in costs, means that we are facing an estimated £57m pressure on our budgets between now and 2024.
We have been able to protect most front-line services and saved money by making our back office processes more efficient, for example, by moving services online, and reducing the number of people we employ.
We are now preparing our budget to help us deal with the continued pressures, protect services for our most vulnerable residents and, most importantly, build a fairer Greenwich.
As well as continuing our drive to make services more efficient, building a fairer Greenwich means investing more to reduce poverty and improve our environment.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Danny Thorpe said:
“Building a fairer Greenwich is about helping residents out of poverty now, but also making sure we improve our environment for the future.
The changes to our council tax support scheme will put money in the pockets of residents who have suffered the most from austerity. Although it has been an unmitigated disaster, Universal Credit is here to stay, so we are proposing to establish a permanent Universal Credit support team to help some of our most vulnerable residents.
Last year we announced that we would aim to reach net zero carbon emissions 20 years ahead of the national target. We want to invest in developing our carbon neutral plan and improving our green spaces to help build a better future for all our residents.
However, the economic realities of ten years of austerity are hitting us hard. The low hanging fruit has been well and truly picked, and now we’re going to have to make some increasingly tough decisions.
We’re reshaping our adult social care services to provide the best outcomes for our residents, but this does not make up for the chronic lack of funding from the government. The government has repeatedly failed to deliver its long-promised green paper on social care, and the maximum council tax increase doesn’t come close to covering the year on year increases in demand.
I would like as many residents as possible to tell us what they think about our spending priorities over the next two weeks, before we submit our final budget.”
The consultation closes on Friday 7 February.