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

16:13
The team cross the finish line in Antigua. Picture: Ben Duffy

The first hurricane to hit the Atlantic in January since 1938 couldn’t stop four daredevils joining the elite group of people to row across it.

13:09
The map shows the net increase of new businesses, which have opened in 2015 by areas. These figures take into account the number of businesses, which closed in the same year.

As new companies are launched around the borough, Romford continues to attract most of Havering’s start-up activity.

Jon Hill outside Buckinham Palace after receiving his CBE. Photo: Jon Hill

When a loved one dies families can take comfort in having a body to bury and grieve over, but for decades the relatives of Northern Ireland’s “disappeared” have not.

The Havering Mind Mental Health Awareness event hosted by Andrew Rosindell MP at the Houses of Parliament

On Thursday night the Recorder launched a major mental health awareness campaign with charity Havering Mind at Parliament.

The 7.53am service from Shenfield to Liverpool Street has been cancelled.

07:00
The 230-page file was mistakenly handed over to the boy's mum

A data protection blunder has resulted in personal details of neighbours who complained to police about a teenage tearaway being given out – to his mum.

Yesterday, 16:11
Gallows Corner junction, flyover and roundabout in Romford

A plea has been made for traffic lights to be included in planned improvements to accident blackspot Gallows Corner.

Yesterday, 15:22
Junior Doctors on Stike outside Queen's Hospital in Romford. Lizzie Hobbs, Elaine Yip and Katherine Elliott

Junior doctors working in the borough will be forced to accept a new contract without agreement or further negotiation, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced.

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

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe