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Council Tax for 2019/20 approved

Author: Council Tax for 2019/20 approved

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There will be a 2.99 per cent increase to General Council Tax this year.

Barnet news

Barnet news

There will be a 2.99 per cent increase to General Council Tax this year.  The increase in Council Tax, which was approved by Budget Council on Tuesday, 5 March, will mean an extra £36 per year for a Band D property.  

The Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) that that sets out how the council proposes to deliver its ambitions and priorities, whilst delivering essential savings over the next five years, was also approved. Barnet Council has successfully delivered savings of more than £155 million since 2010, whilst maintaining high levels of resident satisfaction and protecting frontline services as much as possible.  However, Barnet Council is facing a budget gap of £75 million between now and 2024. Nearly £20 million of savings need to be made in 2019-20 alone.

To put that in context: the council currently spends more than £170 million every year supporting some of the borough’s most vulnerable individuals

As part of its Medium-Term Financial Strategy, the council will need to make some tough decisions about priorities and how limited funds are spent. This may mean that the council stops doing some things or does them in a more efficient way, as well as looking at how it can find opportunities to generate more income. The council’s approach protects its investment in Children’s Services to ensure services for children and young people reach the standard they deserve.  Weekly bin collections will also be retained, whilst the investment in roads and pavements will also continue, as we know how important these services are to residents.

Income generation will play an increasingly important role in the way finances are managed.  The council will look to maximise opportunities from our assets such as generating income through advertising in the public realm and rental income from our estate. The construction of new homes will provide increased income through Council Tax, which will help fund local services. The council’s Delivering for Barnet programme will also deliver an increase in business rates.

The Leader of Barnet Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said:  This is not a decision we have taken lightly, following consecutive freezes on General Council Tax for the last nine years. The public sector as a whole has less money to spend – and at a time when we are facing a significant rise in demand for young people’s services and adult services.

“Despite these pressures, we will continue to invest in Children’s Services and Adult Services. Our most vulnerable residents remain an absolute priority. We also have an exciting year mapped out ahead of us.   We will see the arrival of two new leisure centres at Barnet Copthall and New Barnet this year. Each centre will boast state-of-the-art facilities, including three swimming pools, a five-court sports hall, and a modern gym, whilst a new Youth Zone for children and young people will open its doors in June.”

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