Hounslow announces almost 3% increase in Council Tax

LB Hounslow has announced a 2.99% increase in Council Tax for 2022-23.

The Council’s new budget proposals ‘will represent the cornerstone of a robust post-pandemic recovery plan to protect vital services, while allowing the council to strengthen its commitment to making Hounslow fairer, greener and stronger’ they say.

On a band F property for which the tax iss £2,458.78 in the current financial year, that would represent an increase of £73.74. Put together with the increase in the mayor’s part of the tax, that makes a total increase of £105.67 in Council Tax this year.

Here’s what the Council says about the increase:

‘The Council’s budget sets out the funding required to ensure essential resident services, including housing, recycling, business support and apprenticeship programmes are maintained whilst providing critical additional investment in Adult and Children Social Care.

‘Over the past four years, the council has delivered 1,300 new council homes, secured 4,000 training and apprenticeship opportunities and planted 4,500 trees across the borough. Targets that were delivered against the backdrop of the pandemic, which saw devasting economic effects for the borough. This budget aims to build on the existing success of these programmes and continue to tackle the ongoing effects of the pandemic.

‘To make this possible, the budget proposes to raise council tax by 2.99% in the new financial year – to help cover the cost of rising inflation and significant additional demand in some services such as children’s social care and provision for those with special educational needs.  This is in keeping with expected rises across the country due to pressures on local authority finances and services. The 2.99% proposed rise includes a 1% adult social care precept to help meet the rising demand for those services.’

Hounslow’s budget will be considered at the next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 8 February, with recommendations going forward to be discussed at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday 1 March.

“A fairer, greener and stronger borough”

The leader of Hounslow Council, Councillor Steve Curran, said:

“As widely reported, Hounslow’s economy was one of the worst affected in London during the pandemic.

“We’ve been proud to keep essential support and services running, whilst managing the pandemic response and helping in a range of other ways – for example, supporting 1,000 local business through the crisis and more than £1 million has been invested in the local economy through the council’s ShopLocal initiative.

“I want to ensure Hounslow emerges from the pandemic as a fairer, greener and stronger borough. We must build on our existing support packages, maintaining essential resident services, especially for those most in need, whilst ensuring we are ready to meet future challenges.”

Hounslow was awarded ‘Council of the Year in the Local Government Chronicle awards last November. Judges named Hounslow the best Council in the country for consistently delivering high quality services and making significant improvements to the lives of its residents.

Sadiq Khan puts up Council Tax to cover huge hole in TfL finances

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan announced in December that he was reluctantly planning to raise Council Tax in April, increasing bills by an average of £31.93 a year to cover the huge hole in funding for Transport for London caused by the pandemic.

He has been locked in battle with the government, saying London needs around £1.7 billion to fund TfL until April 2023 and the funding must come from central government. The Department of Transport says it is up to get the capital’s public transport “back onto a sustainable financial footing.”

Khan said:  “The pandemic is continuing to have a serious impact on London’s finances and the Government is still refusing to properly fund our public services, particularly the Met police, Transport for London and the London Fire Brigade.

“Raising council tax by £2.66 per month is not something I want to do, but the Government is leaving us with no choice if we are to help prevent the collapse of TfL and ensure our police officers and firefighters have the resources they need.”

His draft budget for 2022/23 is due to be signed off by the end of this month.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: LB Hounslow wins Council of the Year

See also: Hounslow expecting a leap in unemployment as furlough ends

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