After more than a decade of austerity under successive Tory and coalition Governments, council funding is insufficient, unreliable and unfair.
Just 10 years ago, we received 45% of our income from council tax and the rest came mostly from Government funding. Our funding has been repeatedly slashed by over £140m, meaning more than 60% of our funding now comes from council tax.
This has put the burden for delivering vital public services like adult and children’s social onto our residents, and forced us into an almost impossible situation.
But we have kept council tax as low as possible. It is unfair and unacceptable for residents to bear the brunt of Tory austerity after years of hardship.
The Tory Government’s unwillingness to fund councils properly is now compounded by an inflation and cost of living crisis, caused by the Government’s damaging Brexit deal and their failure to get a grip on the energy crisis.
Ealing has been hit hard by COVID-19 and, as a borough, we are still recovering. We expect more people to turn to us for help – and so we need to make sure that our services can protect and support the vulnerable.
That’s why we’re taking responsible financial decisions to secure our future budgets and be in a position to respond to shocks.
Our council tax support scheme is one of the most progressive in the country, by providing up to 100% discount for families with an income of less than £124 per week.
But, the council is investing. We are committed at meeting our legal and moral responsibilities to our most vulnerable residents. Around 75p in every £1 of our budget is spent on helping vulnerable adults, children, and families on low incomes afford to live.
But we continue to be hamstrung by Government failures to fix social care at a national level. We also invest in our residents priorities, and have brought our waste services in house to ensure it delivers efficiently for the borough.