Deputy Council leader Kam Rai answers your questions

Redbridge Council needs to agree a budget for 2023/24. This means taking some tough decisions so that the budget balances.

Deputy Council leader Kam Rai answers some of your questions about the hard choices facing all of us.

Redbridge Council is one of the top three most efficient councils in London, however government cuts to funding are extremely challenging.

These are incredibly tough times. Most of the money we spend comes from central government and that core funding’s been cut by over 60% over the last decade, so we must find up to £80 million of savings over the next five years. The consequence of government cuts over the last decade means we have some tough choices.

I am determined to make sure everyone in Redbridge gets the services and support they need and deserve. As we set a balanced budget, we will ensure those that need our help the most are supported, we will look at where we can save and be more efficient and cabinet will come together to agree our budget.

 

Yes, we’ve reduced our spending by a lot over the years, but we’ve always striven to keep excellent services running, including libraries, green flag parks, excellent schools, children’s services and clean streets. It is our focus on services that matter most to local people that is at the heart of what we do.

Our challenge is that inflation is causing everything to rise in cost. Just like with your own home, heating a library is more expensive than before. We also know demand for services is increasing, especially for children’s and adults social care, and we have a duty to look after the most vulnerable in our communities.

In order to keep delivering key services with less funding we have to make tough choices.

 

We need to focus on the resources we have rather than the money we have lost. We focus on services that benefit everyone, from swimming pools to playgrounds to clean streets and waste collection, while also making sure support is available for those in need and vital care is provided for vulnerable adults and children. As the Covid-19 pandemic showed, in Redbridge we are a community that looks out for each other – it’s our responsibility but also our great privilege.

We will manage our money, but we will also look for more investment into the borough. We can bid for pots of money from the Government, but we can also continue to attract more businesses to move here. If you visit Ilford, you will see new restaurants opening and investment coming into the town centre. This helps improve the local economy and in turn helps us to manage our budgets.

 

Council tax covers some of the funding we need. But most of our funding comes from the Government. We are careful about how much council tax we ask for. The Government has recently included 2.99% of council tax and up to 2% for adult social care increases as part of their autumn budget, however no decision has been made on council tax in Redbridge.

 

We want local people to let us know what matters to you, particularly now, when everyone is facing cost of living pressures.

During the local elections in May 2022 we set out lots of our priorities that we have committed to deliver in Redbridge, and we do know that our neighbours want a clean, safe, and healthy place to live and work.

There will be formal consultations on certain issues with those who are directly affected by budget changes.

 

The cuts to funding affect all of us and there are some services we won’t be able to provide in the same way as we have done in the past.

If you help keep your area clean, volunteer in your communities, shop locally or just look out for your neighbours – you can make a big a difference.

We know right now that there are tough choices, but we also know that we will get through this together.

 

Note that feedback relates only to this page and it's content. You can also feedback about the entire site.

For complaints or compliments, please go to Complaints or Compliments

Rate this page:

Thanks for your feedback