There will be no increase to general Council Tax this year, following last night’s (6 March) full council meeting of Barnet Council.
However, following consultation, the council will apply a three per cent social care precept to bills in 2018/19. This will be spent exclusively on helping to provide support and take care of elderly and vulnerable adult residents.
Barnet has the largest population of any London borough and is home to a higher population of older people compared to the rest of London, many of whom require care. The precept will generate an additional £4.9m per year, adding £2.89 per month to Council Tax bills for a band D property.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Richard Cornelius, said: “I am proud of our track record in keeping Council Tax bills down as much as possible to help ease the financial burden on residents. Bills increased in 2017/18 for the first time in seven years, when we applied the social care precept to fund the vital support we provide to our elderly residents.
“We still have a total budget gap of £39.5m to fill by 2020, as pressures on our services continue, and our funding from central Government decreases. We have successfully saved £144m between 2010 and 2017, whilst maintaining high levels of resident satisfaction and protecting frontline services as far as possible.”
“While we will continue to look for savings where possible, we are also protecting the capital investment into the borough. Through sound financial management we have been able to make savings while continuing to deliver what we had planned.
“The council also plans to invest £857m in essential infrastructure for the borough between now and 2025, including new homes, schools and building two new sports centres with new pools.”
Barnet Council will also continue to support its most vulnerable residents and work to make Barnet the most family-friendly borough in London. The Council recently agreed to consult with residents about introducing a policy, which will offer Council Tax relief to care leavers up to the age of 25.