Bangla sanglap desk: Newham’s residents are encouraged to find out more about the council’s plans for its next budget and policies for the future.
The budget set in February 2021 aims to respond to the ongoing challenges of Covid-19 and support a fair and inclusive recovery in the borough.
The council is already protecting residents through a range of measures. We have:
· become the first council in the country to help people in overcrowded homes to self-isolate by providing hotels for those who have to self-isolate but can’t afford to and to do this to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission in the community
· given homeless people training, support and help to keep them in a home
· invested £6.5 million to help the most vulnerable Newham residents and households during the pandemic through the Newham Food Alliance and other essential household items
· ensured that all primary school children who need food continue to receive it through the ‘Eat for Free scheme, regardless of their backgrounds
· supported 27,037 children and young people through our Newham Food Alliance and Holiday Food Voucher programmes
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz said:
“Ordinary working people have been hit hardest by the Covid19 pandemic and nowhere harder than Newham. The purpose of this budget is to do everything we can to provide Newham people with real help now and the future they deserve.
“This is made more challenging when the government promised to give us the funds we spent protecting our communities and then failed to deliver their promise.
“I am in touch with people every day who are worried that they just can’t pay this week’s food bill because of the economic impact of Covid-19 on their ability to make ends meet. To help those people hardest hit, this budget is proposing a one off Mayoral Covid-19 Hardship Relief Fund to help people hardest hit by providing £0.3m to support those residents most severely affected by the ongoing pandemic during the 2021/22 period.
“Listening to the people of Newham and championing their priorities is my job as Mayor. That’s why I am so proud that we are in touch with the needs of those hardest hit during Covid-19.”
Cllr Terence Paul, Newham Council Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services, added:
“Despite Newham suffering a 50 percent cut in our share of central government funds since 2010, and the government not fully meeting the costs of the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit us hard in Newham, we have continued to make Newham a better place by investing in our resident’s top priorities. We have developed good homes for all of us by investing in affordable housing. We have promoted decent jobs and fair wages, we have invested in public health and improved air quality and we have kept libraries and Community Hubs open.
“I’d encourage all residents to find out more about our next budget plans.”
This year’s budget proposals will help the borough to recover from Covid-19 and accelerate and invest in affordable homes; opportunities for young people, and an on-going commitment to pay the London Living Wage to our care workers.
The resources available to councils to fund service delivery has increased by 4.5% nationally.
Faced with cuts in government funding, the council is inevitably faced with difficult choices in its own budgets and financial strategy. These have been significantly made worse by the impact of the pandemic, which has also reduced the council tax base.
As expected by government, the budget will be brought back into balance by the additional increase in Council Tax from 3.99% to 4.99%, which will be used to meet the cost of Adult Social care pressures.