Search

Public toilets, street lights and libraries facing the axe amid Havering Council budget cuts

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 July 2018

The budget being discussed at the Havering Council cabinet meeting last night. Photo: Liam Coleman

The budget being discussed at the Havering Council cabinet meeting last night. Photo: Liam Coleman

Liam Coleman

Proposed cost-cutting ideas include closing public toilets, switching off street lights, merging libraries and childrens centres together, and increasing business rates of charity shops by 20 per cent.

Havering Council is asking residents for their views on how it can save money over the next four years.

Proposed cost-cutting ideas include closing public toilets, switching off street lights, merging libraries and childrens centres together, and increasing business rates of charity shops by 20 per cent.

Central government funding to Havering has reduced by more than £29m since 2014/15 and the council is expecting a further loss of £7m over the next two years.

One way the council is looking to save money is by reducing the number of places where customers receive face to face contact.

The council is proposing a Community Hub model, where services such as libraries, children centres, housing offices, and the public advice and service centre could all operate from one building.

It is also looking into closing public toilets and has proposed asking local cafes and pubs if the public can use their toilets instead.

A street lighting review will also look at what lights across the borough could be switched off or dimmed during darkness to save money.

Business rates for charity shops in the borough could also increase by 20 pc.

Charities and voluntary organisations receive a 20pc reduction in business rates funded by council tax, while 80pc is funded by the government.

The council tax element is discretionary and Havering is looking to potentially stop this.

Other proposals include a review of the Queen’s Theatre grants, the closure of the Chafford Sports Complex and an increased council tax premium on empty properties.

Councillor Damian White, leader of the council, said: “We are facing a dramatic reduction in the amount of Revenue Support Grant that Havering Council receives from central Government.

“By 2020/21 reform to the grant system for funding local government will mean all local authorities will need to be self-sufficient.

“This has come at a time when demand for council services is increasing due to a growing population in general, and in particular, an increase in the number of elderly and very young people in the borough.

“Many areas of the council’s budget are demand driven, particularly children and adult social care, as well as housing. We work hard to provide all key services that our residents require and we always put the needs of the borough first.

“We must in law set a balanced budget for the next financial year and to have a strategy in place for dealing with the gap over the next three financial years.

“This means making tough choices about funding local services and we need our residents and businesses to tell us what services are a priority to them, and where we should be making savings.”

The consultation will take place from Wednesday, August 1 - Sunday, September 30 and residents can either take part online or fill in paper questionnaires.

A number of consultation events will also take place.

To find out more visit www.havering.gov.uk/consultations.

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

37 minutes ago

A car overturned last night when the driver crashed with a parked van.

40 minutes ago

Havering Council rewarded its dinner ladies who have been cooking school meals for nearly 400 years between them and have served up more than 23 million meals to schoolchildren.

Scouts from across the borough were recognised last week for all of their hard work and presented with the prestigious Jack Petchey Foundation Achievement Awards.

Yesterday, 17:00

Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas expressed concerns that an energy park in Bexley will lead to “toxic fumes” billowing across the Thames to the Rainham and Beam Park development area.

Yesterday, 16:00

West Ham footballer Robert Snodgrass has donated £3,000 to help four-year-old Isla Caton from Hornchurch who has a rare form of cancer.

Yesterday, 15:00

It’s a blast from the past with the popular Magnificent Music Hall returning to Queen’s Theatre with a special Christmas twist.

Yesterday, 13:00

Children at Collier Row primary school have been exploring the First World War through history, art, literature and math projects.

PROMOTED CONTENT

From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Competitions

A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now