Council tax freeze continues into tenth year for Hackney

Hackney Town Hall. Pic: Redlentil

Hackney Town Hall. Pic: Redlentil

Council tax for Hackney residents has been frozen for the tenth year in a row, despite the financial strain caused by budget cuts.

Hackney Council is the only local authority in the country to take this step this year.

The council confirmed its central government grant will be cut by £36m this year. This equates to £130m, or 35 per cent, in grant cuts since 2010.

The authority had the chance to raise tax by 1.99 per cent to help mitigate the cuts, but Mayor Jules Pipe argued that the £400,000 gained as a result would not be enough to make any meaningful impact.

Mayor Pipe said: “Reorganising services and careful financial management means that we are able to continue to protect vital services for vulnerable people, as well as maintain the services that residents tell us matter most to them.”

The council maintains its commitment to build 3,000 new homes and a school funding programme in the borough, both of which are being financed through day-to-day services.

Hackney Council also claims to have “backed office savings” and “scaled back on layers of management” in a bid to better manage financial resources. But Mayor Pipe still says the council “will have to think more creatively”.

“Constantly reducing costs and finding cheaper ways to do things will only take us so far, and going forward we know that this will be increasingly challenging,” Mayor Pipe said.

The council will continue to sell valuable council land and housing for private sale, allowing it to continue funding affordable housing and schools.

Mayor Pipe said: “Our population continues to rise and we need to act decisively to meet their needs, with new homes, new and expanded schools and investment in local infrastructure. There is no funding from government for us to do this, so we need to find the money ourselves.”

He added: “Above all this budget seeks to protect services, but also demonstrates our creative and ambitious approach to make sure the borough has the infrastructure it needs over the next decade.”

Leave a Reply