Your council tax bill for 2018/19 will reach you in March. We promised to keep council tax as low as possible for as long as possible and, accordingly, core council tax has been the same for 10 years. However, this year it will increase.
Like an estimated 95% of councils, the financial pressures that we now face are so great that we have no option but to increase core council tax. This year it will rise by 2.99% in line with inflation. Without a national fair funding solution for social care we also have no choice but to pass on the government’s 3% social care levy.
As a result, bills for the average band D home will rise this year by £1.25 a week. To protect the borough’s vulnerable residents we are increasing council tax support for those on low incomes.
Years of cuts mean that we expect the council to have £143million less government funding by 2021 than it did in 2010. This is a 64% reduction.
At the same time our population continues to rise and, thanks to improved healthcare, people are living for longer. This is a good thing but it also means that we have more residents, many with complex needs, who will need care for longer.
To meet this demand, next year we must invest an extra £29million to protect children and provide care for vulnerable adults – bringing the total annual bill for these services to £144million.
This, coupled with ongoing cuts to the funding we receive from central government, is putting our finances under intense pressure.
Despite the challenging financial circumstances I remain optimistic for our borough. We have an ambitious plan called Future Ealing that aims to improve the lives of residents by focusing on the things that matter most. You can read more at www.ealing.gov.uk/futureealing
We are also continuing to grow our way out of austerity. There is £5billion of investment under way in Ealing that is bringing with it much needed jobs and genuinely affordable homes. And, with five Crossrail stations, we will soon have inner London travel times along with an outer London quality of life.