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Residents’ views invited on 2018/19 budget

  • Council and democracy

Barnet Council is seeking residents’ views on its budget and savings proposals as part of the 2018/19 budget consultation.

The proposals for 2018/19 were presented to Policy and Resources Committee last night, where approval was given to consult with residents on the overall budget for 2018/19 and options to close the remaining budget gap.

After taking into account savings and income generation proposals planned over the next two years, there is still forecasted to be a £6.7 million budget gap by 2020.  The Council is seeking views on the savings and income generation proposals in the 2018/19 budget, which will contribute savings to that year. 

The Council would also like views on the options to help close the remaining £6.7 million budget gap by 2020. These include options on Council Tax, a reduction in investment in infrastructure and further savings to services in 2019/20.

Barnet Council has saved more than £144million between 2010 and 2017, whilst protecting frontline services as far as possible. For the last seven years, residents’ Council Tax bills have not increased, while at the same time the cost of living has gone up year on year. This means, when adjusted for inflation, there has been a real term cut of 20 per cent in Council Tax bills since 2010/11.

The committee also considered proposed changes to the capital investment programme. The investment programme is partly funded by the proceeds of growth and will be invested in housing, school places, transport networks, leisure facilities and community hubs to make sure the borough continues to be an attractive place to live and run a business.

Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said:  “We’ve saved £144million in total since 2010, whilst protecting front line services as much as possible. We have a mix of proposals to make savings to services and to look at ways in which we can do things cheaper and generate more income next year.  

“Despite the savings we will deliver, we are still confronted with a £6.7million budget gap in 2020. That’s why we need residents’ views now on how we can potentially make up this shortfall.

“We’ve set out options on how we can do this. I would strongly encourage all residents to give us their views on the future financial plans of the council by taking part in the consultation.”

The final budget for 2018/19, following consultation, will be presented to Policy and Resources Committee for consideration Tuesday, 13 February and to Full Council for agreement on Tuesday, 6 March 2018.

Residents are being asked to complete an online questionnaire about the council’s 2018/19 budget online between Wednesday, 6 December and Sunday, 14 January 2018.  

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