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View from the Town Hall: People’s budget puts our residents first

PUBLISHED: 08:30 03 February 2019

Archant

When I was elected last May, I made it clear that my priority as set out in my manifesto was to put people at the heart of everything Newham Council does.

That’s why the first budget I am proposing as mayor is the start of a transformative, positive vision of the borough where residents matter.

Despite a challenging government-driven austerity agenda, I plan to strengthen the areas that need it most such as special educational needs, children’s services and adult social care. It also makes sure the right support is available for those who are the least able to pay.

It’s important to me this first People’s Budget delivers on what you have said is important. I was really pleased that many of you joined the conversation at the three recent People’s Budget Forums. Thank you to all of you who said how you would like to see money spent and how you would like to be involved in budget decisions in future.

Newham’s funding has been sliced by £138m since the Conservatives came to power in 2010. As a result, we have had to make many difficult decisions during this budget-setting process, including a proposed modest rise in council tax to plug the gap, combined with a managed programme of savings. This budget will protect our people and provide services most needed.

I recognise the significant challenges Newham and our people face. That is why I am pursuing a Community Wealth Building agenda, because we need a better approach to local economic development that benefits all. An approach that recognises, builds and harnesses wealth at the local level for the benefit of residents and communities. The benefits of investment coming into Newham, as well as investment already present, need to be felt by all residents.

Every penny counts and alongside making sure we spend wisely, my new administration will prioritise positive outcomes for residents above all else. This proposed budget is an opportunity to deliver an ambitious manifesto programme designed to ensure that your council puts you first.

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