Islington budget 2019: 2.99% council tax rise down to ‘difficult circumstances’

Islington Town Hall. Picture:Ken Mears

Islington Town Hall. Picture:Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

People in Islington can expect a 2.99 per cent council tax hike, after the borough’s budget for the next three years was signed off at a town hall meeting last Thursday.

The council, which has lost 70 pc of its core government funding since 2010, will also axe 190 internal posts across different departments as it braces for a further £50million of cuts by 2022.

The budget commits to protecting core services and spending £187milllion to build at least 550 homes for social rent by 2022. The council will also invest £13.5m in properties in or near Islington be used as temporary accommodation.

Islington leader Cllr Richard Watts previously told the Gazette: “When the Prime Minister said austerity was over she lied.”

Speaking at full council, Islington’s sole opposition Cllr Caroline Russell (Green, Highbury East) said: “This cruel and careless government is leaving our essential services frayed and fragmented.”

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She added that the council faced “difficult budget circumstances”, then raised an amendment proposing to increasing all parking permits by £104, in order that a space in a bike hangar was the same as parking the cleanest vehicle.

Cllr Russell said the extra revenue could fund her other policy proposals, included scrapping the 8.5 pc contribution to council tax made from people eligible for council tax support.

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But her amendment was voted down by Islington’s 47 Labour councillors.

The council tax rise will equate to an additional 65p per week for households in Band D properties.

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