Council tax to rise in Barking & Dagenham by 3.99 per cent

Council tax in Barking and Dagenham will rise by 3.99 per cent from April to “protect frontline services”.

The borough’s budget was agreed at a meeting last night and councillors claimed that there would be no cuts to any frontline amenities.

Councillors said the borough had been forced to make cuts of £162m over the last ten years and there had been an increase in demand for the services which support vulnerable residents.

Raising council tax will raise an extra £2.5 million a year – half of which will go towards paying adult social care costs.

Councillor Dominic Twomey, cabinet member for finance, said: “Doing what’s right for local people is at the heart of every decision we make. Every year, £7 in every £10 of our budget is spent on caring for the most vulnerable people in our community – from children we need to keep safe, to frail elderly residents who need help to remain independent in their homes or with dementia and who need expensive specialised residential care.

“We face a real challenge providing vital services as well as doing everyday things like household bin collections. Council tax only makes up 16 per cent of the money we need to pay for all our services.

“While I’m pleased we’re not making any cuts to services in this budget, we still have a huge challenge just to pay for everything we do. That’s why this year we’ve had to take the tough decision to increase council tax.”

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Rachael Burford

Local Democracy Reporter