Thursday, July 25, 2024

Increase in council tax looming for 2013 warns council leader

REDUCING central funding combined with increasing pressures on services – particularly children’s safeguarding services – means Thurrock Council is facing making serious cuts in the next three years.

Council leader, Cllr John Kent, speaking at Wednesday (12 September) evening’s cabinet meeting, said: “Over the past two years we have reduced council spending by more than £10 million. We are making more savings this year too.

“But in the three years from April 2013 we are looking at having to make further major cuts in spending, somewhere in the region of £14 million to £17 million.

“Making savings is becoming increasingly difficult. First you identify areas where it’s obvious money is being wasted, then you concentrate on cutting management costs to reduce the impact on important services. But eventually you reach the point where services will be hit. I’m worried that point is rapidly approaching.”

He added: “We can do some things to reduce the need to make actual ‘cuts’.

“For example we could increase council tax. The government’s ‘bonus’ payment for not putting council tax up two years ago comes to an end in 2013. If the tax is frozen again the council and service-users will face a double-whammy.

“We will also continue to seek new ways of working, more efficient ways, perhaps increasing our links with Barking and Dagenham to the benefit of residents in both boroughs.

“When we took control of the council two years ago we instituted the creation of a medium-term financial plan and this is exactly why. It’s not good news, but at least we have notice of what is

coming and can start planning, warning and talking with people now – months and years before the tough decisions have to be taken and enacted.”

Notes for Editors

The £14 million to £17 million gap is because the council is unsure of how much the need for extra children’s social care will increase over those three years. If pressures continue as they are at the moment, it will be at the upper end.

For further information please contact:

Andy Lever, Corporate Communications Officer

3 COMMENTS

  1. And this is from a council that is still owed in excess of £3m in unpaid council tax and has recently all but written off a £50k housing benefit debt.

    maybe if TBC(B&D) got their own house in order then these increases may not be needed or raised that much.

  2. Budget cuts will undermine investment in Thurrock for decades to come. No Party in the last 12 Years has got on top of finance. Bankruptcy has only narrowly been avoided numerous times
    Typical Cuts to come
    a. Thurrock Council Budget Cuts possible £11m each year for next two years
    b. Universal Credits – Cuts to existing benefits
    c. Council Support (Council Tax Benefit) – 10% Cut in National Support thus likely 25p Payment in the Pound payment by those on Low Income who do not pay at present.
    d. Local Council contracts lost for local Business plus Council Job Losses.
    Result – Job Losses / Mortgage Losses more Food Banks – Child and Adult Poverty a factor of life. Welcome to new benefit world.
    Create jobs then tax / cut if necessary but Coalition cannot as they have no employment policies.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest

More articles