Published on:01 March 2017
Enfield Council has agreed to follow government guidance and increase a dedicated charge to help meet rising social care costs in its budget this year.
The Council agreed on Tuesday (28 February) that the Adult Social Care precept, introduced by the Government in 2016/17, should be increased by three per cent this year to bring in vital extra cash that will be ring-fenced to look after vulnerable older people in the borough.
The Council’s share of the general Council Tax bill – which funds a huge range of services ranging from parks to libraries and roads to refuse collection, will increase by 1.99 per cent to help the borough try to offset the £58.5 million savings it needs to make by 2020/21, on top of the £131million it has saved since 2010, because of central government funding cuts.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance & Efficiency, Cllr Dino Lemonides, said: “By 2020 the government will have cut its core funding to Enfield Council by around 60 per cent in real terms since 2010.
"Coupled with an increasing population and growing numbers of vulnerable people who need help, this will put a greater strain on our services than ever before.
“We will continue to strive to protect local frontline services. To help us do this, we have taken the difficult decision to increase council tax by 1.99 per cent.
“The government is leaving local councils to raise much of the money needed to address a national crisis in social care funding. We are therefore, as the government expects us to, also applying a precept of three per cent on Council Tax to help meet local care needs.”
Despite ongoing government spending cuts Enfield Council has still managed to achieve an enormous amount in recent years including:
• Providing well maintained and accessible parks - 10 of which have Green Flag status- and public realm for which we received a gold Clean Britain award for keeping our streets clean
• Continuing to provide thousands of new school places to meet demand
• 97 per cent of all schools in the borough being rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted
• Getting the highest number of residents – 154,300 - into employment for a decade
• Securing millions of pounds of investment to quicken the developments at Meridian Water and Edmonton Future housing zones
• Delivering the £6 billion Meridian Water scheme to provide 10,000 homes and more than 6,000 permanent jobs and help to regenerate Edmonton and the Lee Valley
Cllr Lemonides added: “We remain committed to tackling the issues that matter most to our residents by building more genuinely affordable homes for local people, helping residents into work and giving young people the best start in life.
“This year has already seen the first tenants moving into Dujardin Mews in Ponders End – the first housing to be built directly by the Council for around 30 years.
"This summer the Edmonton Green library will reopen offering magnificent 21st century facilities following a £4.2 million refurbishment.“
The Greater London Authority is increasing its proportion of council tax by 1.46 per cent this year which means that in total families living in a typical Band D property will pay £1,481.25 for 2017/18 – a 4.3 per cent increase on the previous year or an overall increase of around £1.17 a week.
The money Enfield Council needs to save has to be found from an inadequate funding pot allocated by central Government.
The amount Enfield is given is informed by an out of date funding formula, which has been used by governments from different political parties, with much of Enfield’s money being redistributed to other boroughs despite Enfield being assessed as having a greater need.
That means Enfield gets less than £350 per resident compared to some other London boroughs which get more than £500 per resident – making it harder for us to make a positive difference and properly fund our services.
That is why Enfield Council is urging residents to pledge their support for the Enfield Over 50s Forum’s Fair Funding for Enfield Campaign