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Havering Council launches consultation on “toughest budget ever”

Bin collections could be reduced to alternate weeks under the new plans (Credit: Havering Council)

The leader of Havering Council is urging people to respond to a consultation on its “toughest budget ever”. 

The council is planning to increase council tax and cut services as it looks to tackle a £70 million budget gap over the next four years. 

Cllr Ray Morgon said: “I came in to this role promising honesty to residents who need to know not only how serious our financial challenge is but also what we propose to do about it.

“We face a triple whammy problem of rising demand for statutory services, a government funding formula that is just plain unfair for Havering and inflation adding £10 million to the cost of services next year alone. Ten years ago we got £70 million from government to fund those services and that’s collapsed to just £1.5m today.”

Havering Council is planning to increase council tax by 60p per week for a Band D property in the borough. 

It also intends to introduce wheelie bins so that it can reduce the frequency of bin collections to alternate weeks, saving £650,000 a year.

There are also plans to deliver children’s services from community locations rather than specific child centres.  

“I hope residents understand why we have to publish proposals that I don’t want to make but need to so we meet the massive challenge we face,” added Cllr Morgon.

“I need people to tell us how the proposals could impact them during this consultation, but I also need their help to get Havering’s message heard loud and clear in government: it’s unfair for Council Tax payers in Havering to shoulder the burden of paying for social care when residents in other parts of the country don’t.

“I hope that the government will listen before we set our final budget next spring, so we can minimise or delete some of these proposals.”

The consultation is open until the end of December. If you would like to take part online you can do so here

Paper copies of the consultation can be found at libraries across the borough. 

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