Message from Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council
Your council is committed to supporting everyone in Brent to not just survive but thrive as we recover from the pandemic.
This means protecting our frontline services that residents rely on today and investing money wisely in the things that will give local people a brighter future tomorrow.
However, like many councils, the money Brent receives directly from central government has been falling for more than a decade. In the 12 years since April 2010, Brent Council has needed to save £185million from its budget – as the money we receive directly from central Government has been cut by 78%. This means savings of around £15million on average every year since 2010.
At the same time, more people with complex needs, including vulnerable older people, are finding themselves in need of council help. Our population is growing at one of the quickest rates in the country, which means local services like bin collections, schools, housing, libraries and leisure centres are in demand.
Everyone at the council has worked extremely hard to become even more efficient including by using the latest technology and finding streamlined ways of working. However, finding savings from already lean budgets, while demand for what we do grows, means there is huge pressure on local services.
As a result, and along with the large majority of local authorities across the country, Brent has made the difficult decision to increase council tax by 2.99%. By paying an extra 79 pence a week, for the Brent Council part of the bill for the average home, we can continue to protect many of the services you value. This includes everything from supporting the most vulnerable in our society – such as elderly adults receiving social care and protecting children and young people – to parks, sports centres, libraries and training courses for job seekers.
This is not a decision the council took 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 the people who need it the most. If you are struggling with your bills or paying for essentials, help is at hand through our Residents’ Support Fund and Council Tax Support Scheme.
Despite the challenges we face, we will continue to protect the front line services that people rely on and keep working tirelessly to build a better, fairer and greener Brent for each and every one of us.