A package of measures to protect frontline services and support Brent’s recovery from the pandemic have been agreed as part of Brent Council’s budget which was agreed at Full Council this evening (24 Feb).
Over the past 12 years, the money Brent receives directly from central government has been cut by 78% meaning the council has needed to save £185m from its budget. However, the population of Brent is growing at one of the quickest rates in the country meaning there is more demand for local services.
Over the past year alone, the council has provided care for over 4,200 elderly and vulnerable adults, collected rubbish from nearly 128,000 homes, taught over 48,000 pupils in Brent schools and provided £3.9m through the Residents’ Support Fund.
The 2022/23 budget includes £17m to help communities and businesses bounce back even stronger from the pandemic. The Recovery Fund is focused on tackling three of the most pressing issues of our day: inequality, poverty, and the climate and ecological emergency.
The total package of 33 measures includes:
- £10.3m to help people back into work
- £4.4m to support the green recovery
- £1.6m to support an education recovery for young people
- £943,000 to support the borough’s health
- £183,000 to make communities safer
- £168,000 to help deliver Black Community Action Plan projects.
Other items in the budget include £95.8m for adult social care, £45.5m on protecting vulnerable children and young people, £32.4m on creating cleaner and greener neighbourhoods, and £12.8m on providing the jobs, homes and transport that people need.
In order to deliver these vital services, the budget includes £2.7m of savings, mainly focused on areas the council can make money go further.
Like the majority of councils, Brent has also needed to increase council tax by 2.99%, with 1% earmarked for Adult Social Care.
Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said: “Year on year, central government funding cuts and increasing demand means the challenge of balancing the budget becomes even more difficult.
By paying an extra 79p a week, we can continue to protect many of the services you value. This includes everything from supporting the most vulnerable in our society, to parks, sports centres, libraries and training courses for job seekers.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly as we understand the cost of living crisis across the country is making things extremely tough.
“This is why we have reinforced the safety net for those who need it most. If you are struggling with your bills or paying for essentials, help is at hand through the Residents’ Support Fund and Council Tax Support Scheme.
“Despite the challenges we face, we will continue to protect frontline services and keep working tirelessly to build a better, fairer and greener Brent for each and every one of us.”