London Borough of Barnet

Council tax freeze announced for fourth year running

Published Monday 20 February 2012

Barnet Council’s Cabinet tonight agreed to a council tax freeze for a fourth year running.

As well as making financial savings of £43.1m over the next three years, Cabinet agreed to a Medium Term Financial Strategy which will effectively keep council tax bills at the same rate for another year. The plan forecasts a 2.5 per cent council tax rise in 2013/14, rather than the 5 per cent rise as forecast last autumn.

The decision will go to full Council for ratification for 6th March.

Announcing the 2012-15 Budget and Business Plan, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said:

“These are immensely challenging financial times and no organisation would expect to continue as before while losing 26 per cent of its income, almost £45 million.

“We need to continually battle to run our services as efficiently as possible while investing now in order to meet the challenges of the future. 77 per cent of our spending reductions come from efficiency savings, with a further 17 per cent service reductions and 6 per cent on income increases. I think this is the right balance.

“Barnet Council is investing in Early Intervention in children’s services and we have set aside £5.25m in protecting vulnerable adults over the next three years as our older population grows. We have also identified £20 million of spending in this budget, confirming our commitment to provide £60 million in capital spending to provide more places in our first class schools.”

Councillor Daniel Thomas, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance, said: “The One Barnet programme has already delivered £5.8m in savings and we are now expecting to see potentially higher savings than budgeted in the future. I am delighted that a small growth in our council tax income, as a result of the regeneration of the borough, has helped us limit the proposed increases in council tax next year.”

Contact Press Officer: Nick Griffin