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Havering Cabinet approves £14m cuts

PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 November 2015

Leader Cllr Roger Ramsey

Leader Cllr Roger Ramsey

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Proposals detailing how Havering Council plans to save a further £13.9million from its budget over the next three years have been approved by the cabinet – focusing on income generation and restructuring services.

Leader Cllr Roger Ramsey told the cabinet at Havering Town Hall on Wednesday the proposals are “robust” and would “substantially avoid any reduction in front line social services”.

But he warned “hard decisions have to be taken” and could result in job losses.

He explained the gap in funding came at a time of “national austerity” and increasing demands on children and adult social services.

Havering has the highest percentage of population of over 65-year-olds as well as the highest net increase of school children of all London boroughs, the cabinet heard.

The package of proposals includes the formation of another company to enter into private sector renting market and investments in wind turbines and solar parks in order to sell back energy to the National Grid.

Cllr Ramsey said: “This would enable us to enter into the renewable energy arena and not to impact in any significant way on our residents and housing.”

Other savings would come from reducing and restructuring the youth service provision to save more than £1m, improving recycling to reduce the cost of disposing of waste and encouraging residents to use online council services.

The report presented to cabinet said the council wanted residents to limit waste to three black bin bags a week to combat increasing costs, and warned it could be forced to go to fortnightly collections if people did not comply.

The report indicated council tax would only increase over the 2pc rate if the current statutory limit was raised by the government and after a public consultation.

An extra £2m will have to be made in 2018-19 to fill the £16.3m budget shortfall by 2018-19.

Last September the council announced it had to make £60m of cuts to balance its budget, which has been reviewed to £56m.

All proposals will be subject to consultation before being presented to full council in February, which will make a final decision.

Cllr Ramsey added: “If people accept it, it will be of substantial ongoing benefit.”


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