No council tax rise agreed in 2014/15 Newham budget

25 February 2014 in Council and democracy and Mayor
Residents will not be asked for a penny more in Council Tax for the sixth year running after Newham Council approved budget proposals from Mayor Sir Robin Wales.​
Properties in Band D continue to pay £945.63 to cover the Newham element of Council Tax - the same level since 2008-9. It is expected that Newham will continue to have the lowest Council Tax in Outer London.

Sir Robin Wales said: “We remain under the cosh from savage reductions in funding from the Government but we remain committed to protecting the services that residents say are important to them and that change people’s lives for the better.”

Also agreed in the budget were the Mayor’s spending priorities which will see a continued investment of £5million to support people into work through Workplace – Newham Council’s employment service.

So far, Workplace has helped more than 20,000 residents into work since it started in 2007; this includes 5,000 in each of the past two years. Half of residents who find work through the service have been unemployed for more than a year.

The Mayor also guaranteed that funding would continue for council funded police officers. These police officers work alongside the council’s enforcement and safety team to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime and improve the quality of the local environment.

Also contained within the budget was the Mayor’s commitment to Newham’s Every Child Programme. The programme complements traditional learning to ensure the borough’s young people have a good mix of academic and social education.

The programme provides a wealth of aspirational opportunities and support for Newham’s pupils including the provision of universal free school meals for all primary school age children.

All children in Year 5 have the opportunity to receive a free musical instrument and three years tuition; pupils in Years 7-10 can attend world-class theatre productions linked to the curriculum and Year 7 pupils can try over 20 different sports that they otherwise would not partake in as part of their school PE curriculum.

Sir Robin added: “Keeping Council Tax at the same level for six years and funding programmes like universal free school meals puts money back in the pockets of our hardworking residents.”