The agreement by Cabinet follows an extensive engagement process with councillors, including three Budget 2023-24 Summits for residents and events for businesses, young people as well as voluntary and community sector partners. The Budget includes a below inflation council tax increase of 4.99% in order to protect frontline services and invest to build a fairer Newham. Council Tax bills in Newham will remain among the lowest in London.
It’s the first Budget that adopts green budgeting methods to help accelerate the Council’s Climate Action environmental and climate goals so that it achieves Net Zero by 2045.
Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE, said: “This budget builds on the successful management of the Council’s finances over the past four years to protect frontline services and support residents during these hard times.
“Throughout our budget setting process, we have placed residents, partners and stakeholders’ front and centre via real participatory engagement at three Budget Summits and a series of sector specific engagement events.
“In a really tough financial climate we have made efficiency savings across our services and listened when residents told us that they wanted our budget to support cleaner and safer streets, high quality homes our people can afford, more opportunities for children and young people, including those with special educational needs and support to help people age well.
“As we progress with our Climate Action plans, this Budget is the start of us annually evaluating the environmental impacts of budgetary and fiscal policies we approve as we deliver on our promise to respond to the Climate Emergency as well as our progress on our inclusive growth plans.
“Now the hard work continues to deliver each and every commitment to serve residents and build a fairer Newham.”
The budget makes provision to support key priorities from the Council’s Building a Fairer Newham Corporate Plan:
1. 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.
2. Newham’s inclusive economy to support you in these hard times
- The Household Support Fund, including £0.25m distributed to families to help meet food and energy costs.
- £6m for the Council’s ‘Eat For Free’ Scheme to continue, saving families £500 per year per child in primary school.
- £1.2m capital investment in the Council’s Newham Sparks programme including the establishment of London’s first Data Campus in East Ham Town Hall, to support high growth industries and employment opportunities.
3. Your Neighbourhood
- £69m long term capital investments for the Active and Sustainable travel projects including installing 1,000 electric vehicle charging points.
- £0.8m budgetary growth for street cleaning and waste collection services.
- Additional resources for services to improve children play areas and parks and enable the Council to achieve Green Flag status for more of the borough’s parks.
4. Safer Newham
- Over £1m of investment in our Community Safety Service, which will enable us to deliver more officers across the Anti-Social Behaviour and Enforcement teams, which will include an ‘out of hour’s’ service. The investment will also enhance the capacity to deal with environmental crimes, Hate Crime and the Women Safety agenda.
- Additional investment into our licensing and regulatory services, giving more capacity to our growing borough.
- £0.2m Investment into a New Food Safety Strategy for Newham’s High Streets and Night-time Economy and to ensure that Newham’s residents are safe.
- £1m investment in new and upgraded CCTV around the borough.
5. Homes for our Residents
- Long term investment of £2bn in housing including 1,500 new genuinely affordable social rent homes.
- This includes large scale, transformative, regeneration projects for the Carpenters Estate, Custom House and Canning Town, as well as our Affordable Homes for Newham programme.
6. Supporting our young people
- £4m budgetary growth for Children’s Social Care services so they that they continue to meet growing demand.
- £3.8m capital investment in Family Hubs to provide wrap-around support for families.
- £0.6m more investment in the Council’s Special Educational Needs and Disability services for Children and Young People, following £1.2m investment in the previous year.
7. People Powered Newham and widening participation
- £1.6m provided from Neighbourhood CIL to invest in grassroots community led projects to improve neighbourhoods through the Council’s Community Assembly.
8. A campaigning Council
- Continuing to lead by example as a London Living Wage employer.
- Campaigning for additional financial support for our residents including improved welfare, renters’ rights and genuinely affordable housing.
- Campaigning against violence against Women, Misogyny and Hate Crime.
- Investment in the Council’s Climate Change team to help achieve Carbon Net Zero by 2045.
For more information, go to www.newham.gov.uk/budget