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Redbridge Council proposes 5 percent council tax increase and £7.3m of spending cuts to help balance books

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 November 2017 | UPDATED: 07:23 27 November 2017

Redbridge Town Hall

Redbridge Town Hall

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Council tax is set to increase by almost five percent next year while public spending will be cut by £7.3m according to new proposals from Redbridge Council.

The council has proposed its 2018/19 budget based on an increase in council tax by 1.99pc, the legal maximum increase without having a referendum.

The proposed budget also includes an additional 3pc council tax increase earmarked for adult social care.

The council estimates it could save £750,000 by cutting reliance on external fostering agencies and instead hiring foster carers.

It also proposes cutting the use of external legal agencies for children’s and families services and using the council’s own lawyers instead.

Redbridge residents can share their views on the 29 proposals the council has outlined in order to save £7.3m through an online consultation.

Councillor Kam Rai, cabinet member for finance and support services, said: “All local authorities are facing a time of uncertainty, given the lack of clarity from central government about future funding after the period of the current spending review which ends in March 2020.

“These are extremely challenging times for our council and local authorities have had to bear a significant level of funding cuts. I will be making the Government aware of the rising demand pressures in Redbridge which should be taken into account.

Since 2010, central government funding for local authority budget has been cut by 40 percent.

Local authorities have been able to compensate for this by raising money locally, meaning that their budgets are overall 26pc lower according to Full Fact – an independent fact-checking organisation.

Cllr Rai added: “The social care crisis is well documented and the only solution the government have made to raise funding has been the adult social care precept, which is an addition onto council tax.

“On our part we continue to redesign services to deliver better outcomes with reduced funding.”

Redbridge residents can share their views on 29 proposals outlining a total of £7.3 million in cuts at: consultations.redbridge.gov.uk/s/budget1819

The outcomes of this consultation will be analysed and presented to Council on February 22 2018, after which the final budget will be decided.

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