No new service reductions plus extra funding for residents’ priorities – despite challenging times

Published Thursday, 2 March 2017

Bromley Council’s balanced budget for 2017-18 recommended by the Executive on 8 February was agreed at Full Council on Wednesday 1 March 2017.

Bromley residents will see an increase of 3.47 per cent in their council tax bills. This is made up of an increase of 1.99 per cent on the Bromley element of the council tax, plus a 2 per cent government adult social care precept to address cost pressures in this area. Allowing for the GLA increased precept this results in the headline figure increase of 3.47 per cent which equates to £46.77 a year at Band D of which £21.42 is government social care precept. Other bands are calculated pro rata. 

The council’s long term prudent approach to its budgets and the drive to take savings early has meant that new reductions in service levels have not been necessary this year. However, with increased demand and diminishing government resources, and an expectation of greater self-sufficiency from local authorities, a rise in council tax is still necessary to help balance the budget, while further savings may be necessary in the future.

Council Leader Cllr Stephen Carr said: “There have been no new cuts in services this year due to our careful handling of the budgets over the past few years, coupled with our robust approach to ensuring services are delivered effectively and efficiently by those best placed to provide them. We have, however, had to increase council tax to help balance the budget. In addition a government precept of 2 per cent is included to help mitigate the impact of the growth in demand for adult social care as our population ages - a particular issue in Bromley which has a larger than average older population. 

“Despite the challenging times, I am pleased to say that, in Bromley due to our diligent approach, we are still able to respond to feedback from last year’s budget consultation. We are setting aside extra money for the things residents said were important to them. So, it gives me great pleasure to announce the following additions we have made to the budget:

  • £500,000 to enhance the general street environment, parks, countryside and trees. 
  • £250,000 to enhance our planning and enforcement services, and
  • A further £1.5 million over the next two years added to the £4.4million extra already agreed to improve services for vulnerable children and young people in the borough. 

Cllr Carr added: “In addition, we are supporting young people and others wishing to get back into employment by allocating £200,000 to evolve a new Apprenticeship Scheme. This will make the best use of the government’s apprenticeship levy and get residents into training and employment.

 “We have low government funding per head compared to other London boroughs and so we continually work to achieve the best deal for Bromley by lobbying government for a fairer settlement. Last year this resulted in extra one-off government funding of £4.1m for a two year period to help protect services and cover some growth in demand.

“Through these difficult times we continue to be fully committed to our Building a Better Bromley vision, working even more closely with our key partner organisations to deliver the priorities. Last year we placed ‘ambitious for all our children’ at the heart of what we do and already, through the work of an independently chaired governance board, we are delivering a positive direction of travel and improving services for our most vulnerable young people. We help older people go on maintaining their independence and living in their own homes for as long as possible. 

“We also believe a quality environment is important and want to continue to grow our successful Friends Groups who steadfastly supplement the work of the council to improve their neighbourhoods and local parks. We are working hard to keep the borough safe and to develop our opportunity sites, among them the smart new restaurant terrace at the Glades. New housing and leisure facilities are being built at Bromley South and improvements are due in Beckenham Town Centre on top of those for Orpington and Bromley. Through our dedication to Building a Better Bromley we want everyone to enjoy their life to the full in our fantastic borough.” 

Council Tax in Bromley 2017/18
Property Band Property Value 1/4/91 Council/GLA split Bromley GLA Council Tax 2017/18  Council Tax 2016/17
£.p   £.p £.p  £.p
A up to £40,000   742.68 186.68  929.36  898.18
£40,001 to £52,000  866.46 217.79 1,084.25 1,047.88
C £52,001 to £68,000  990.24 248.91 1,239.15 1,197.57
£68,001 to £88,000  1,114.02 280.02 1,394.04 1,347.27
E £88,001 to £120,000  1,361.58 342.25 1,703.83 1,646.66
F £120,001 to£160,000 1,609.14 404.47 2,013.61 1,946.06
G £160,001 to £320,000 1,856.70 466.70 2,323.40 2,245.45
H more than £320,000 2,228.04 560.04 2,788.08 2,694.54

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