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Council tax set to rise in Hackney as town hall announces cuts of £13.8m

PUBLISHED: 13:43 13 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:04 13 February 2017

Hackney Town Hall.

Hackney Town Hall.

Archant

Council tax is set to rise by 3 per cent in Hackney as the town hall looks to make cuts of £13.8million.

Mayor Philip Glanville has announced the increase as part of his first budget. It is the second successive rise and will cost taxpayers in Band D properties an extra 60p a week, raising £2million in total for the cash-strapped council.

Despite Hackney being one of the boroughs hit hardest by austerity measures, Mr Glanville has pledged to protect key services and keep costs as low as possible.

The government’s suggested increase of 2pc to fund adult social care is included in the rise, so unlike other Labour councils Hackney has opted against a 4.99pc hike – the maximum allowed without triggering a referendum.

The other 1pc will go towards care for vulnerable children, youth work, temporary accommodation and keeping parks and streets clean.

The rest of the £13.8m cuts will be made through “efficiencies, income generation and reducing management and service costs”.

Since 2010, town hall bosses have had to shave £152m off their spending. And it’s not going to get better for a while. By 2020/21 Hackney’s annual grant will have fallen £139million, or 45 per cent.

Last year protesters heckled then-mayor Jules Pipe as he spoke at the annual budget-setting meeting because they opposed the rise – the first for 10 years.

Mr Glanville said it was challenging times for the whole country.

He said: “Councils like Hackney, which serve populations with high levels of need, have been hit particularly hard during the austerity years, and I’m proud that we have managed this huge challenge, whilst protecting local services. “We know it’s not been an easy time for many of our residents too, and I’m committed to keeping council tax as low as possible, however we cannot continue to subsidise government cuts.

“If we are to keep Hackney as a place for everyone, a place to be proud of, we cannot afford to let our ambitions shrink with our budget.

“We need to stay optimistic about the future of our borough and keep our aspirations and expectations high – and this is reflected in some of our key priorities around creating jobs and opportunities, investing in new schools and building genuinely affordable homes.”

Councillors will be asked to agree the budget at a town hall meeting on March 1 at 7pm.

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