How we spend your money

Message from the Leader of Brent Council – Councillor Muhammed Butt

As we put the worst of this past year behind us, though there is cause for optimism, there is much to do to ensure we can each share in the better days ahead.

COVID-19 has made clear how important high quality, well-funded public services are to the safety and security of all our lives. It has also exposed how many of us are really struggling – and were struggling long before the pandemic struck – with huge personal challenges such as physical or mental illness, unemployment or underemployment, and inadequate housing and homelessness.

As we emerge from this crisis, we have both an obligation and an opportunity to set about massively improving the quality of ‘normal’ that we will all soon return to. As a council, in seizing that opportunity and living up to that obligation, our ability to provide the types of services that improve people’s lives depends entirely on the reduced amount of funding we receive from central government, and the majority that we are able to raise in local taxes.

To protect those services, and guarantee that we can continue providing the life-saving and life-changing support that so many of our residents rely on, we are having to increase Council Tax by 4.99% as of this coming April. In addition to the council’s increase, the Greater London Authority – which is responsible for services such as TfL and the Metropolitan Police – is also increasing its precept by the equivalent of an additional 1%. As a result of both changes, the average monthly bill will increase by £8.09.

The council has not taken these decisions lightly. We know that many households will struggle with the additional pressure that even a modest rates rise will create. With that in mind, anyone with any concerns regarding their ability to pay their bill at any point in the year ahead should not hesitate to get in touch and ask about Brent’s Council Tax Support Scheme. Ours is one of London’s most comprehensive packages, helping tens of thousands of residents manage large parts of their burden. If you think you might need help too, let us know as soon as possible – we’ll do all that we can.

Until then, on behalf of Brent Council, best wishes for the year ahead.