Council tax rise among Newham's budget plans

Newham Town Hall. Picture: Ken Mears

Newham's cabinet approved the 2022/23 budget plans - Credit: Archant

A council tax rise for Newham residents was outlined as part of the borough's budget proposals.

Cabinet members discussed the 2022/23 budget at a meeting last week.

The plans include a 2.99 per cent council tax increase for residents, of which one pc will go towards adult social care.

This equates to 63p per week for a Band D property.

In a report, the borough's mayor Rokhsana Fiaz and Cllr Terry Paul, cabinet member for finance, said that the hike was necessary to balance the budget and meet a £9m Covid-19 funding shortfall.

The council has also set out £7m in pre-planned savings and £3.7m in new efficiency measures in the next financial year.

These include a reduction in agency staff and other departmental savings.

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The council is set to invest almost £15m into its Keep Newham Moving scheme - a road improvement programme - and around £20m towards regeneration on the Carpenters Estate, Custom House and Canning Town in the upcoming financial year.

Other capital investment planned in 2022/23 includes £5.5m on a new Shipman Youth Zone building and £3.3m on relocating Plaistow Library to Valletta Grove.

A further £1.8m is also earmarked towards the purchase of Lady Helen Seymour House, which the council is planning to use as an assessment centre for rough sleepers.

Spending plans also include an extra £3.8m investment in children's social care and £1m for supporting families with no recourse to public funds.

Cllr Paul said: "I'd say to residents out there, look at the budget in the context of how we're focused on the priorities of people who need our services the most.

"Look at the money we've given for temporary accommodation, the money for children's services and the money for no recourse to public funds. I think we can all agree those are key priority areas for residents.

"I'm very proud of the budget and that in these challenging times we are able to say, across the footprint of our council services, there is some really good work to do."

The council is also planning to raise rents for its tenants by 4.1pc, which it says is in line with government policy that allows councils to increase rent by the rate of inflation plus one pc.

The plans were recommended for approval and they will now go to full council for debate later this month.