Search

Council budget: Services at risk as Havering Council aims to make drastic spending cuts

11:30 29 August 2014

Cllr Roger Ramsey said Queen

Cllr Roger Ramsey said Queen's Hospital is "simply not ready" to handle services transfer from another hospital

Archant

Libraries, social care, youth services and cultural facilities are all be under fire as the council works to make £60million of savings over four years.

Cllr Roger Ramsey, leader of Havering Council, said the authority has no choice but to cut services to deliver a balanced budget.

The councils proposals, which will be scrutinised by fellow councillors and the public, include slashing the library services budget by more than £1million and the early help and troubled families service by £900,000.

If agreed the reorganisation could threaten the borough’s five remaining children’s centres.

Cllr Ramsey said: “We would like to keep these centres open because we think they are a really good local resource. What we are going to need to do is to find a balance between continuing to fund some services and charge for others.

“If the budget does not balance a year down the line we may have to reconsider.”

A decision to protect some services has been made based upon the feedback of residents’ priorities. It is proposed weekly rubbish collections, street cleaning, CCTV, street lights and park maintenance continue at current levels.

In contrast cultural facilities have seen their budgets hit. On top of the £1.138million slashed from libraries both Queen’s Theatre and Havering Music School will see their grants reduced by £200,000.

Social care for those aged between 18 and 64 has provisionally been allocated £4.45m of savings. Cllr Ramsey said it is hoped that these can be achieved by the modernisation of the service - however the future of Havering’s only day centre could not be ensured.

He said: “This is a prime area where consultation is essential. This is an area where we can do things better and achieve a saving.”

Parking charge increases have been proposed to generate £1million. If approved these will see fees outside of Romford town centre increase with free parking for the first 30 minutes introduced to protect businesses.

Savings of £400,000 may be achieved by closing the town centre information kiosk and pushing more council services online - reducing the reliance on face to face and telephone communication.

Elderly people could also be affected by proposals to cap care packages and personal budgets at the average cost of a nursing home place.

The closure of the reablement service at Royal Jubilee Court has also been proposed to achieve £410,000 of savings.

Cheryl Coppell, chief executive of Havering Council, said: “Our guarantee is that we will always look after the most vulnerable in our society and will carry out our statutory responsibilities to them and offer them the best possible services we can with the amount of money we have.”

The Recorder has given an overview of the budget proposals. In the coming months reporters will provide further analysis of those services that may be affected.

If you have concerns or questions you would like us to look into contact emma.lake@archant.co.uk 02084773903.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford News Stories

48 minutes ago
The 'Pride' sign which was passed among colleagues across several of the Trust’s wards and departments

Staff at both Queen’s and King George Hospital have banded together to celebrate their colleagues from Europe and across the world.

The man pictured in Romford on Saturday with a t-shirt which read,

A man pictured wearing a T-shirt that read “Yes we won! Now send them back” has been lambasted by people across the country.

10:43
Mecca Bingo, High Street, Hornchurch

The fate of a historic bingo hall should be sealed this week as a planning application to tear down the building has been recommended for approval.

Joni-Mai Stevens with the bracelets made by her class mates as a charity fundraiser

A community group launched in memory of a little girl who died of a rare bone cancer has become an official charity.

Yesterday, 16:42
A white van crashed into the Modern Medical Centre on Rush Green Road this afternoon. The surgery is now closed. Credit: Becky Kirby

Police have been called after a van crashed into a medical centre.

Yesterday, 16:16
Essex Police crest Picture: PA ARCHIVE IMAGES/Ian Nicholson

A Romford man has been charged in connection with Essex Police’s Summer Anti-Drink and Drug Driving campaign at the weekend.

Yesterday, 15:38
Metro Security is sponsoring the Excellent Customer Service Award at the Havering Business Awards. Here managing director Trevor Wallace collects the 2015 Innovation Award

Businesses are being given an extra week to bid for award success.

Yesterday, 15:31
The Scout Association in Collier Row was flooded after the River Rom burst its banks last week

Nearly 100 beavers, cubs and scouts have been left without a home after a scout hall was completely flooded, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe