The Government announced in December 2016 that, due to the huge pressure on adult social care budgets across the UK, councils could raise the adult social care precept on council tax bills (which is the amount ring-fenced to provide care for elderly and vulnerable adults) by 3 per cent instead of 2 percent. This could potentially result in council tax bills rising by 4.99 per cent to help protect vital local services instead of the previously proposed 3.99 per cent.
Please let us know what you think in the consultation below.
Six years of cuts by central government to local authority budgets across the UK has meant Brent Council has needed to find new ways to maintain services, with some difficult decisions made along the way.
Despite growing demand for local services from an increasing and ageing population, the funding that Brent Council receives from the Government is set to fall even further.
Rather than cut vital services, which residents rely on, the council is conducting a ten-week consultation on its budget proposals which includes a rise in council tax by 3.99 per cent to help plug the gap left by the government's cuts.
"Imagine your household bills went up every year, but your salary kept being cut. You would have to make some tough choices and find new ways to make your money go further," says Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council.
As well as showing how the council plans to raise income to balance the books the budget details spending plans for 2017/18.
Key areas include everything from investment in making Brent cleaner and safer, rubbish and recycling collection, boosting jobs and skills to protecting the vulnerable, increasing council housing, maintaining parks and open spaces and giving every child the best start in life.
"In recent years, we've taken steps to make sure that Brent Council is as efficient and cost-effective as possible. At the same time, we've worked hard to ensure the services that our residents rely on are protected.
"It is vital that the work we do as a Council reflects the priorities of our residents. That's we are asking the people of Brent to tell us what matters to them. I would encourage as many people as possible to visit the website, or join us at their local Brent Connects meetings taking place at the start of next year."
Have your say online by 1 February 2017 or come along to one of the Brent Connects public meetings in January or February 2017.
Views taken at the Willesden and the Kingsbury and Kenton Brent Connects meetings, after the consultation portal has closed, will be added as an appendix to the Cabinet report and considered on Monday 13 February 2017 at the Cabinet meeting.
Full Council will then make a decision on the final budget for 2017/18 on Monday 27 February 2017.