Bromley aims to be ‘Borough of choice’ despite diminished funding

Published Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Bromley Council’s balanced budget recommended by the Executive on 10 February was agreed at Full Council on Monday 22 February.

Bromley residents will see an increase of 1.67 per cent in their Council Tax bills. This is made up of an increase of 3.99 per cent on the Bromley element of the Council Tax, including a 2 per cent social care precept for cost pressures in adult social care, and a 6.44 per cent reduction in the GLA element. The combined effect will equate to a 42p a week increase on a band D property, with other bands calculated pro rata.

The council has to save more than £25m over the next four years after allowing for a small Council Tax increase and income generated through the adult social care precept. This is in addition to savings already made in previous years. Around £19m in savings as well as an increase in Council Tax were needed to balance the 2016-17 budget. 

Council Leader Cllr Stephen Carr said: “We have had to make this increase in Council Tax this year to help balance the budget and have introduced the 2 per cent precept allowed by the Chancellor to help meet the costs of care as our population ages and more people have complex care needs. This is particularly acute in Bromley where we have a larger-than-average ageing population. During our budget consultation last year many residents again said they understood the need for a rise in Council Tax to help protect essential services.  

“This year Councillors believed Bromley received a particularly harsh reduction in settlement funding so, with the support of local MPs, I lobbied senior Ministers to make a case for a fairer settlement. This has resulted in some transitional funding from Central Government, but as it is one-off money over two years, the Council will still need to make substantial savings in the medium and longer term.

“We have the lowest funding per head of population in London and as budgets contract, we have to do things differently, even stopping some services. Supporting people to be more self-sufficient with signposting to online services, for instance, helps to conserve limited funding for those who need help most and for services that reflect the priorities of local residents.”

The Leader of the Council added: “As a result of our strict and determined budget monitoring, I am delighted to announce we are in a positon to set aside £750,000 from underspends in the current year’s budget to allow us to further enhance our environment. 

The proposals are as follows:

  • £250,000 to enhance our environment, particularly to help with the maintenance of trees and replacing those that have been lost.
  • £250,000 to attack the scourge of environmental crime, especially fly-tipping.
  • £250,000 to enhance and improve local shopping parades which have been so popular over the last year or two. 

“This demonstrates that despite the challenging times we find ourselves in, we are still fully committed to our Building a Better Bromley priorities,” Cllr Carr concluded. “We believe it is things such as providing a quality environment by maintaining our recycling levels and encouraging the growth of our successful Friends Groups, partnership work to keep the Borough safe, the development of opportunity sites in the Borough including transforming the old Town Hall into a boutique hotel, the new cinema in Orpington, the expansion of the Glades Shopping Centre to provide a café society lifestyle and improvements in Beckenham and Penge that makes Bromley the Borough of choice - living, working, relaxing and enjoying.”

Council Tax in Bromley 2016/17
Property Band Property Value 1/4/91 Council/GLA split Bromley GLA Council Tax 2016/17  Council Tax 2015/16
£.p   £.p £.p  £.p
A up to £40,000   714.18 184.00  898.18  883.43
£40,001 to £52,000  833.21 214.67 1,047.88 1,030.66
C £52,001 to £68,000  952.24  245.33 1,197.57 1,177.90 
£68,001 to £88,000  1,071.27  276.00 1,347.27 1,325.14
E £88,001 to £120,000  1,309.33 337.33 1,646.66 1,619.62
F £120,001 to£160,000 1,547.39 398.67 1,946.06 1,914.09
G £160,001 to £320,000 1,785.45 460.00 2,245.45 2,208.57
H more than £320,000 2,142.54 552.00 2,694.54 2,650.28

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