Council tax car park charges and business rates to pay for Havering Council’s funding gap
PUBLISHED: 16:51 08 February 2017 | UPDATED: 09:10 09 February 2017
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Havering Council has confirmed it will raise council tax, car park charges and a number of other rates in order to bridge a funding gap from central government.
At a budget briefing held yesterday, council leader Roger Ramsey said the measures were the only way to accommodate the huge loss.
The council previously received £60million from the government which has been cut steadily over the years and by 2020 this will reduce to just over £1m.
Cllr Ramsey said: “We are planning a council tax increase this year of 3.5 per cent bottom line.”
This means council tax for a Band D property will be around £1.04 a week more.
“We are not making any change to the council tax support scheme,” he added.
“People who have had reductions will continue as is.”
No major cuts in services are projected.
But the council is proposing to increase charges for car parking outside Romford to £1.50 for one to two hours, and raise green waste annual charges from £35 to £45.
Enforcement of moving traffic offences will also be increased.
In addition, the council will rely on the revenue generated from its leisure facilities, a new centre in Romford in January 2018, and business rates, which are going up.
“We are trying to raise money so that we can avoid cutting support to the vulnerable,” he continued.
Cross-party support was gained last month for the council to request Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to refund the Olympic Games precept.
But he flatly refused, calling the motion “desperate nonsense”.
“We are disappointed,” Cllr Ramsey said.
“We have always felt a bit aggrieved about the Olympic levy.
“Our residents have contributed £16m to the Olympics unlike other areas who have contributed nothing – like Waltham Abbey [retains a canoe facility] and Benfleet [Olympic mountain bike course].”
Income will also be generated through a solar park at Gerpins Lane and the council’s property company Mercury Land Holdings.
“At the moment we have 41 apartments in North Street, Hornchurch and have also acquired about 40 apartments at the old hospital site which should be finished in March.”
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