Residents have been at the heart of shaping how the Council will spend its 2023/4 budget this year at a series of eight budget events attended by residents, partners and stakeholders. Over 160 people have already taken part in summit sessions with additional meetings taking place with key organisations representing the business, voluntary, community and faith sectors.
Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz OBE said “Residents have been at the heart of our budget setting process. They have provided constructive challenge, sharing their experiences of the Cost of Living crisis and a burning desire to have clean and safe streets, quality housing and opportunities for children and young people including those with special educational needs and to help people age well.
“In a challenging context the plan places fairness at the centre of our approach, we will continue our journey of improving the experience of residents through innovation and transformational change.”
The robust provisional financial plan builds on the successful management of the Council’s finances over the past 4-years to protect frontline services and support residents during these hard times. This includes an ongoing commitment to the Council’s Eat for Free programme so that every primary school pupil has a healthy and nutritious meal daily saving families £500 per child annually. The commitment to the London Living Wage is also retained, as is the Council’s 90 percent Council Tax Reduction Scheme which supports eligible residents on benefits.
The budget proposals include:
A Healthier Newham and ageing well
- £3.2m growth in the adult social care budget to meet the needs of our changing population.
- Continuation of the London Living Wage policy so that Carers are paid properly for the work that they do.
Newham’s inclusive economy to support you in these hard times
- The Household Support Fund – including £250k distributed to families to help meet food and energy costs.
- £6m for the Eat For Free Scheme to continue, saving families £500 per year per child.
- £1.1m capital investment in the Newham Sparks Programme creating a Data Economy Campus in East Ham, which will support high growth industries and employment opportunities.
- £69m long term capital investments for the active and sustainable travel projects including installing 1,000 electric vehicle charging points so people can travel safely in an environmentally-friendly way.
- £0.8m budgetary growth for street cleaning and waste collection services to help keep our streets lean.
- Additional resources for services to improve parks and play areas and so achieve Green Flag status for more of the borough’s open spaces.
- Over £1m of investments in women’s safety and in combatting anti-social behaviour through more enforcement officers.
- £1m investment in new and upgraded CCTC around the borough.
Homes for our Residents
- Long term £2bn investment in housing including 1,500 new genuinely affordable social rent homes.
- This includes large scale, transformative, regeneration projects for the Carpenters Estate and Custom House.
Supporting our young people
- £4m budgetary growth for Children’s Social Care services so they that they continue to meet demand.
- £3.8m capital investment in Family Hubs to provide wrap around support for families.
- £0.6m of investment in the Council’s Special Educational Needs and Disability services for Children and Young People.
People Powered Newham and widening participation
- £800k provided to neighbourhoods to invest in grassroots projects through the Community Assembly programme.
A campaigning Council
- Continuing to lead by example as a London Living Wage employer.
- Campaigning for additional financial support, improved welfare, and affordable housing.
- Investment in the Council’s Climate Change Team to help achieve Carbon Net Zero.
A final Budget 2023/24 plan will be published this month for approval by Mayor Fiaz and her Cabinet on 16 February; and ratification by councillors at a Full Council meeting on 27 February.