One per cent council tax rise planned with borough set for balanced budget

Mayor John Biggs... providing help 'where it is needed most'

Mayor John Biggs felt the council's budget plans recognised financial pressures on residents - Credit: Mike Brooke

Tower Hamlets Council is planning only a one per cent council tax increase towards its adult social care services.

Cabinet members are debating the borough's budget proposals for 2022-23 at a meeting tonight (January 18).

The authority is set to freeze its element of council tax for the upcoming year but will raise the tax by one per cent as part of an adult social care precept.

This equates to around 21p per week for a Band D property and would raise around £1.2million, according to a report.

The borough's mayor John Biggs said: "Residents are facing massive uncertainty and pressures on their household budgets.

"We recognise this and that is why we are proposing to freeze our portion of council tax this year to give respite at a time when energy and food prices are rising and the impact of the cut to Universal Credit is being felt.

"We are however proposing a one per cent increase to the adult social care precept in order to fund vital social care services."

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Due to "funding uncertainties" beyond the next financial year, the council report said it has decided to set a one-year budget.

The budget is balanced and includes more than £9.2million of savings previously approved by councillors.

The report said that the council's funding gap could range from £10m to £30m in the medium term.

Despite this, Mayor Biggs hailed plans to invest further in waste and recycling services and to "protect" council investment in police officers, upgrading CCTV and free school meals.

He said: "This budget protects the universal services our residents rely on and maintains our support for those facing hardship.

"I’m proud that we are continuing to invest to make Tower Hamlets a cleaner, safer and fairer place and to unlock opportunity for all."

If agreed by cabinet, the budget plans will then go to full council for approval.