Camden Council set their annual budget and Council Tax levels yesterday, including plans to cut services and increase Council Tax by 1.99%.
The Conservative Group – the only opposition group on Camden Council – proposed an amendment to the budget that would have:
- Saved and restored front-line services under threat from Labour;
- Reduced Council Tax by 0.5% – taking advantage of £1m of government funding available to Councils that freeze tax;
- Introduced 20 minutes of free parking across the less-busy north of the borough, including Hampstead, to support local businesses;
- Increased care workers’ pay to the London Living Wage, despite Labour’s opposition;
Our budget amendment was costed and signed off by Camden’s Finance Director as workable. These measures would have been funded by adopting new revenue streams – such as leasing out unused floors of office space at the Council’s new offices and maximising advertising revenue – and reducing specific, named waste and back-office costs – such as taxpayer-funded trade union positions and corporate strategy spending.
However, Labour rejected this budget: imposing their cuts to services and hike in Council Tax. While the Lib Dems and Greens abstained, both backed the increase in Council Tax.
You can see the Conservative budget amendment in full here.