Search

Council tax in Havering frozen for fourth year running as town hall votes through 2013/14 budget

14:00 28 February 2013

Cllr Roger Ramsey (Conservative, Emerson Park)

Cllr Roger Ramsey (Conservative, Emerson Park)

Archant

The borough’s council tax will not go up in April, it was decided at the town hall last night.

That means 2013/14 will be the fourth financial year in a row that Havering Council has frozen rates – although a meagre central government grant means the average household bill is still among London’s highest.

The freeze was the jewel in the crown of a budget that Tories and opposition councillors alike hailed as sensible and fair.

In an uncharacteristically respectful, orderly debate, councillors from all sides praised the work of officers in delivering the freeze in such tough financial conditions. The council’s expenditure for the year will be nearly £7m higher than in 2012/13 and Havering has been dealt a poor hand by Whitehall – it will again receive less funding per head than any of its neighbouring boroughs.

To balance the books, finance boss Cllr Roger Ramsey said Havering would focus on “maximising efficiency” and “making back office savings”.

Bills will increase for some – the average council house rent will go up by 5.6 per cent, or an extra £237 a year. But council rents in Havering are likely to remain the lowest in the capital.

And the rise will be offset for some by a £163 cut in service charges.

The cost of some support services for older people will go up 3.1 per cent, but the council is investing in projects to keep people out of care and in their own homes for longer.

The new council tax bill – which is actually slightly lower than last year – means Havering is able to take advantage of a £1m grant from central government for freezing charges.

And a further bonus for building new homes to the tune of £1.5m is also on its way.

But much of the council’s funding this year will come from the sale of assets, such as office buildings made surplus by transferring staff to Mercury House.

Proposing the budget, Cllr Ramsey told the council chamber: “Setting a budget is a matter of policies, priorities and people.

“I believe we can look our taxpayers in the eye and tell them their money is safe in our hands.”

Not all London councils have set their rates for 2013/14, but the Havering figures are favourable compared with other outer London boroughs like Bromley, Croydon and Wandsworth – where council tax is increasing.

0 comments

Latest Romford News Stories

Reporters Ann-Marie Abbasah and Hayley Anderson with soul legend Jocelyn Brown.

With a hit laden set list, there was no mountain high enough to keep veteran singer Jocelyn Brown from rocking the crowd at the Havering Show, yesterday.

09:35
Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Gurdial Bhamra, chairman of Morden Cllr Peter Elliot, Bedrock Hospital Radio's mascot, mayor of Havering Cllr Philippa Crowder and mayor of Brentwood Cllr Noelle Hones.

Day two of the Havering Show kicks off from 11am today at Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, with a line-up featuring something for everyone.

07:00
Amplify founders Tom Murch and Jack Withing

A pair of music lovers are making some noise across the borough as they launched their own T-shirt brand.

Yesterday, 19:35
Reporters Hayley Anderson and Ann-Marie Abbasah at the Havering Show.

From wrestling and BMX tricks to star acts and fair ground rides, the first day of the Havering Show had it all.

Yesterday, 15:00
Romford playwright Dan Murphy will open a festival in Havering with a performance of his play Skinny Legs. Picture:Arnaud Stephenson

The thought-provoking work of a young playwright will open a festival of fresh and innovative plays in Havering.

Yesterday, 10:00
40-years-ago

A look back at the biggest local stories from this week 20, 40 and 60 years ago.

Yesterday, 08:02
Jocelyn Brown will be headling at the Havering Show. Photo: PA Archive/PA Images

The Havering Show kicks off from 11am today at Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch, with a line-up featuring something for everyone.

Saturday, August 27, 2016
Our reporter Matt Clemenson with Keith Prince and Peter McNaught, Operational Director of the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria Lines on board the first official Night Tube from Kings Cross station.

Last weekend, Reporter Matthew Clemenson joined Havering’s London Assembly member Keith Prince on a tour of the new 24-hour service. Here is his full account.

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

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

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