Mayor and Cabinet approve Building a Fairer Newham Provisional Budget 2023/24 and Budget Summits with residents in the New Year


At a formal meeting on 20 December, Mayor Fiaz and her Cabinet approved the Council’s Draft and Provisional Budget 2023/24 for further engagement with residents.

  • Building a Fairer Newham Provisional  Budget 2023/24 proposals include £10 million of investments for frontline services to support  residents during these hard times;
  • £19 million of savings and efficiencies across the Council so that every penny and pound is spent well;
  • Council Tax rates in Newham to remain amongst the lowest in London, with a below inflation rise of 4.99 percent equating to an average Band D property in Newham paying no more than an additional £1.09 per week;  
  • £3 million per annum into the Council’s General Fund Reserves in addition to a £4m contingency budget;
  • £256 million of investments as part of its Building a Fairer Newham plans;
  • Residents and local partners invited to have their say on proposals at Newham borough-wide Budget Summits on 18 and 19 January 2023.

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At a formal meeting today, Mayor Fiaz and her Cabinet approved the Council’s Draft and Provisional Budget 2023/24 for further engagement with residents, setting out how the Council is confronting the challenging financial environment facing local government in the face of the Cost of Living Crisis, high inflation and growing demand. 

The robust provisional financial plan builds on the successful management of the Council’s finances over the past 4-years to protect frontline services and support residents during these hard times. This includes an ongoing commitment to the Council’s Eat for Free programme so that every primary school pupil has a healthy and nutritious meal daily saving families £500 per child annually. The commitment to the London Living Wage is also retained, as is the Council’s 90 percent Council Tax Reduction Scheme which supports eligible residents on benefits.

Approved following the publication of the government’s provisional Local Government Financial Settlement yesterday (19th December), the plans include an injection of £3 million per annum into the Council’s General Fund Reserves to meet pre-Covid-19 levels of £16 million, with an additional £4 million allocated for contingencies in response to any unforeseen eventualities.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said ‘Residents facing the unprecedented challenge of the Cost of Living rightly look to the Council to support them in these hard times. While the impact of soaring inflation, energy costs and increased demand are also placing pressures on the Council, we are showing how we will continue to stand by them through our Budget proposals for next year. It’s a plan that places fairness at the centre of our approach, alongside driving improvements across Council services through transformation plans that sustain the quality of services that our residents deserve. Nor will we shirk our responsibilities to ensure that we spend every penny and every pound to progress with the outcomes we have promised: new homes, improved neighbourhoods, clean streets, investment in our children and young people including those with special educational needs.’   

Councillor Zulfiqar Ali said: ‘Over a decade of austerity, Covid-19, high inflation and the cost of living crisis; local government has had it tough. The lack of clarity and sustained funding for local government has placed a huge strain on Councils like Newham as we respond to growing demands and increased costs. In a borough that has experienced 14 percent population growth with high levels of poverty and inequality, we will continue to stand by our residents. The economic pressures have impacted our communities significantly, leading to increased demand in services as well as substantial increases in supply and services costs for the Council itself. Despite these challenges, our manifesto commitments are at the heart of the Council’s budgetary plans for 2023/24. Our proposals is our demonstration that we remain committed to building a fairer Newham for all.’

We understand the impact that proposing an increase in Council Tax below inflation could have, and while the decision hasn’t been taken lightly it is why this budget includes a comprehensive set of measures to secure efficiencies, deliver cost savings and achieve real value and outcomes for residents from every penny spent. 

Following approval by Mayor Fiaz and her Cabinet, the Draft and Provisional Budget 2023/24 will be the basis of a borough-wide engagement process starting in the New Year. This will include two Newham Budget Summits on 18th and 19 January taking place online and in person at The Old Town Hall, Stratford. It will be open councillors, residents, local businesses and partners from the voluntary, community and faith sectors in Newham. 

A final Budget 2023/24 plan will be published in February for approval by Mayor Fiaz and her Cabinet; and ratification by councillors at a Full Council meeting later that month.

Published: 20 Dec 2022