Budget forums give residents the chance to have their say

A series of budget forums will take place across Newham, giving residents the chance to have their say on draft budget proposals for the next three years.

These draft budget proposals have been agreed by Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz OBE and the council’s cabinet, prioritising investment in young people, an ambitious housing delivery programme, supporting the homeless and the climate and health emergency. 

At the centre of the proposals for 2020/21 to 2022/23 is the council’s strategy for an inclusive economy through a Community Wealth Building agenda that seeks to transform Newham by addressing poverty and inequality, improve health and wellbeing and expand opportunities into skills and jobs. 

Newham residents have a vital part to play in budget setting process and are invited to attend one of the council’s Budget Forums. Attendees will find out how the council is funded, the 2020/21 to 2022/23 budget proposals and how to be involved in future budget decisions.

Councillor Terry Paul, Cabinet member for Finance and Corporate Services  said: “As part of our agenda of good governance and transparency, we’d like people’s thoughts on our spending proposals which some challenging decisions about where to prioritise money.”

Forums will be held on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 22 January – 6.30pm to 9pm, Old Town Hall Stratford, 29 Broadway, Stratford, E15 4BQ
  • Wednesday 29 January – 6.30pm – 9pm, Canning Town Library, 18 Rathbone Market, Barking Road, Canning Town, E15 1EH
  • Thursday 30 January – 6.30pm – 9pm, East Ham Town Hall, 328 Barking Road, East Ham, E6 2RP

The draft proposals show that because of government funding cuts and austerity over the past decade, the council needs to save £45m by March 2023. Savings of £36.2m have been identified which, when taken together with additional income of £9.6m from a proposed increase in Council Tax over each of the three years, would deliver this. 

The draft Budget allows for growth spending of £10m each year on what is being spent already, for new services and enhancing existing ones, to deliver the Mayor’s and the administration’s priorities. 

The extra investment growth proposals include:

  • £4.5m per year in services directly for young people
  • £1.8m per year on housing
  • £1m per year funding police officers      
  • £500,000 per year on street cleansing
  • £1m per year on climate and health emergency
  • An increase of 4 per cent to the Newham element of council tax for investment in people and the borough

Newham’s Cabinet will meet on 18 February to consider the outcomes of the resident engagement and scrutiny from councillors. The final budget will be voted upon at a meeting of the council on 2 March. 

To register for a forum visit www.newham.gov.uk/PeoplesBudgetForum​ or email comments to [email protected] 

Published: 21 Jan 2020