Havering Council's cabinet is to discuss a raft of savings plans tonight as it bids to close a budget gap of £31million - we've looked at exactly what is proposed.

The authority has proposed “savings” of about £12m in an effort to balance its books.

It has vowed to do “everything it can” to avoid issuing a Section 114 notice.

According to the Local Government Information Unit, a section 114 notice is "generally seen as demonstrating that a council faces bankruptcy unless it quickly gets its finances in order".

Some measures will directly impact residents, such as increased parking charges, while others are more complex financial decisions that could impact the council’s financial resilience.

Here is a list of some of the proposals and the estimated savings next year which will go before Havering’s cabinet for formal approval.

Most would not come into force until April next year.

They have been broken down into the council’s four spending areas: people, place, corporate and resources.


Reduce the number of libraries (Saving: £300,000) – The council would save money on staff redundancies and running costs by “reshaping” its library estate to focus on areas with the “greatest need”.

Stop all Christmas spending (Saving: £133,000) – The council would stop all spending on Christmas festivities such as trees, lights and events and would look for sponsorship opportunities instead.


Pay to stay (Saving: £55,000) – Offer families payments to avoid them making relatives homeless, which results in expensive hotels or bed and breakfasts.

Temporary accommodation debt (Saving: £169,000) – The council has £2.8m in “bad debt” from temporary accommodation tenants and is proposing to chase them to pay their debts once they have moved on.

Review of social care pilots (Saving: £800,000) – The council would try to limit the cost of four pilot schemes aimed at elderly residents who have been discharged from hospital.


Cut £1.5m in spending on highways improvements (Saving: £50,000) – The cut in borrowing to improve highways would mean less loan repayments on a remaining budget of £4.5m.

Parks parking – (Saving: £1.2m) – Pay and display charges for parking in parks, which are currently free, would be introduced at the same as on-street rates.

Scrap parking fine discount (Saving: £350,000) – Residents who unsuccessfully challenge parking fines would not be eligible for a 50 per cent discount (currently about 30,000 informal challenges are made each year).

Pay and display 40pc increase (Saving: £1.25m) – 30 minutes free parking would continue but charges would increase by 40pc, bringing up to one hour parking from £2.10 to £3.

Scrap free parking on Sunday (Saving: £350,000) – The council estimates charging for parking on Sunday would raise extra income.

Controlled parking zones (Saving: £50,000) – The council could try to increase income by introducing more controlled parking zones, which currently only affect about 5,000 residents.

Increase parking permits (Saving: £200,000) – Raising the price of permits for residents and businesses by 12-16pc.

Cease trading at Romford Market on Sundays (Saving: £30,000) – The council says running the market loses about £213,000 per year, much of which is from trading on Sundays. It is also considering condensing the market’s size in the hope of making extra money from parking.

Increase waste collection fees (Saving: £420,000) – Increasing garden waste collection from £70 to £84 and bulky waste collection from £55 to £66.

Minor parking changes (Saving: £75,000) – The council would stop changing parking bays, extending double yellow lines or local upgrades at residents’ requests, although it would continue with local safety work.


Redirect agency levy (Saving: £3m) – The council pays about £20m for agency staff each year, it pays an “overhead” of 8pc per worker into its pension fund to encourage recruiting permanent roles but can save money by stopping this payment.

Stop paying into insurance account for claims (Saving: £1.35m) -The council would stop paying into a fund to settle claims through its insurance until 2025.

Stop paying for extra police (Saving: £300,000) – The council funds a team of five Metropolitan Police officers who focus on borough crime issues, it is now seeking “alternative funding”.

To read the full list of planned savings, visit the council’s website: https://democracy.havering.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=153&MId=7676.