No new cuts for Bromley, but council tax is about to rise
PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:00 06 March 2017
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Residents in the average Bromley property are about to see their council tax rise by nearly £50.
The hike follows a council meeting last week, when the budget for the coming year was agreed.
Overall, residents will see a 1.99 per cent rise in the amount they pay to Bromley council, as well as a two per cent hike in the adult social care precept.
Despite councils across the country facing pressure to become self-sufficient by 2020, the Tory-controlled council agreed not to bring in any new cuts to services.
Council leader Cllr Stephen Carr said: “There have been no new cuts in services this year due to our careful handling of the budgets over the past few years, coupled with our robust approach to ensuring services are delivered effectively and efficiently by those best placed to provide them.
“We have, however, had to increase council tax to help balance the budget. In addition a government precept of two per cent is included to help mitigate the impact of the growth in demand for adult social care as our population ages - a particular issue in Bromley which has a larger than average older population.”
Whilst facing pressure in some areas, the council has agreed to make certain additions to the budget, including £500,000 to improve the borough’s streets and green spaces, as well as allocating £200,000 for a new apprenticeship scheme.
Elsewhere a further £1.5million has been added to the £4m already agreed to improve the borough’s services for vulnerable children and young people.
Labour group leader in Bromley, Angela Wilkins highlighted cuts already made by the council.
The Crystal Palace councillor said: “Thankfully no new major cuts were agreed, and this last-minute money for street cleansing and planning will help a bit. I guess the Tories suddenly remembered that there are council elections next year!
“However, they still won’t recognise that the £20 millions of cuts they have already made are affecting people’s lives and the quality of services the council provides.
“There are so many examples of things going wrong - from children’s services, through adult services to things like dirty streets, 3 year waiting lists for food premises inspections, and a backlog of more than 500 enforcement cases in planning.
“It’s good to see that after months of being told by Labour Councillors that our streets are not being adequately cleaned, Cllr Colin Smith (Executive Member Environment) agrees with us and has found some extra money, albeit £50k less than we wanted.
“Money is tight, but they could have done much more to stop service levels from sinking. Basically we’re all having to pay more for less.”