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Redbridge Council calls on government to boost adult social care funding and business rate receipts

PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 March 2019

Redbridge Town Hall Photo credit: Redbridge Council

Redbridge Town Hall Photo credit: Redbridge Council

Justin Setterfield

Redbridge Council is calling on the government to boost its adult social care funding as well as the share of money it receives from business rates.

But the opposition Conservative group boycotted the motion because it was tabled on Thursday morning (February 28), hours before the full council meeting at which is was set to be discussed.

Conservative leader Councillor Linda Huggett said: “To put this motion at such a late stage is an abuse of power by the majority party.

“Will not be taking part in any party debate whatsoever.”

The motion, put forward by Cllr Kam Rai, calls on chief executive Andy Donald to write to the government requesting it takes three main steps.

The first is to deliver on funding promised through the Better Care Fund for adult social care services – helping elderly residents and vulnerable adults – which the government “has repeatedly failed to provide assurance on”, according to the council.

This fund was set up between the NHS and local authorities to join up health and care services.

The second demand is for the government to ensure Redbridge Council can retain 100pc of any growth in business rates receipts.

Business rates is a tax all businesses must pay the council based on the value of their premises.

Most local authorities must give this revenue to central government to be redistributed back to other local authorities across the country based on a funding formula set by the government.

The government must return to each council at least 50pc of they have raised locally.

The final request is for the government to “provide clarity” on the formula used, to ensure it is based on “funding requirements” and “includes significant appreciation of need and deprivation”.

Cllr Rai said: “This is about standing up for our residents over our party.

“I would put forward this motion even if we had a Labour government.”

Following the Tory boycott, a number of Labour councillors spoke in favour of the motion for about 30 minutes.

It was voted through with 48 in favour and 11 abstentions.

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