Harrow Conservatives vote through ‘Dangerous’ Budget Cuts to Social Care, whilst Breaking Election Promises on Council Tax
- Conservative Pre-Election promise to freeze council tax is now broken following a 12% increase for Harrow households.
- Damaging cuts announced of £1.5m with job losses to local social care workers responsible for protecting our most at risk vulnerable children.
- More enforcement officers and hidden CCTV cameras in Harrow to target an additional 50,000+ Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN’s) worth £3.5m
At the Council Meeting on Thursday night (23rd February) the Conservative council administration confirmed that they will be increasing council tax by nearly 5% this year and 12% over three years, breaking an election promise to freeze council tax.
Conservative Councillors have announced mass staffing reductions to our social care workers responsible for keeping safe the most vulnerable children at risk in our borough. With rapidly increasing caseloads they are cutting in half the budget from £2.9m to £1.4m to support local families.
Adult Social Care and Mental Health Services have not avoided the Conservative budget cuts where they are cutting £4.5m from vital services over three years – reductions in domiciliary and dementia care, including reviews to care packages and increased client contributions, and hitting services such as safeguarding teams. Local neighbourhood resource centres and the new Bentley and Wiseworks day centres will also see services cut back or closed. Very little information has been made public with no mention of how residents will be impacted.
Conservative Councillors did not stop there, they also announced that they will be taking an aggressive approach to parking and increasing the number of enforcement officers to target parking income to generate an extra £3.5 million in fixed Penalty Notice fines, this equates to over 50,000 FPNs paid for by Harrow residents which is on top of the £10 million worth of fines income already per annum.
The Leader of the Labour Group, ClIr. David Perry said:
“Harrow Conservative Councillors have dealt a huge slap in the face to Harrow residents by breaking a key election pledge to freeze council tax, only to now increase the financial burden by 12% when the Borough is facing a cost-of-living crisis.
I am deeply concerned that these savage cuts to vital support for our most at risk vulnerable adults and children in Harrow will badly impact service users and their families. The Harrow Conservatives have decided to invest nearly £250k in more PR, Spin Doctors and political messaging at the Council whilst at the same time cutting huge numbers of social care workers demonstrates they have the wrong priorities at the wrong time.
Having reviewed the budget documents, I fear local services are going to be left in a dangerous position as the mitigations identified in the savings proposals are weak in comparison to the significant risks identified.
Residents will be alarmed to hear the Tories are targeting £3.5m in 50,000+ additional fixed penalty notices from local drivers through more enforcement officers and hidden CCTV is greedy”.
- Cuts to Adults and Children Services – £7,452,000 – including:-
- Social Care Staffing – Service redesign. HR policies will be followed – £1,515,000 – which is a cut of approx. 30 staff putting increased workloads on others.
- Placements & Accommodation – Increased demand management – £1,250,000 – putting children at risk of abuse.
- Review of packages of support to maximise independence and reduce long term dependency. Each package will be assessed individually and that equality impacts will be taken into consideration on an individual basis – £500,000 – reducing care packages and support
- Consolidate capacity at Kenmore & Vaughan NRC’S to provide the most complex support and thereby reducing the need for externally commissioned day care – £1,200,000 – stopping external specialist support.
Parking Review – Improvement on current parking enforcement activity and performance – £3,500,000
- Moving Traffic Contraventions (MTC) Review – review of all MTCs in the borough and evaluate if they meet transport needs. The introduction of schemes including school streets and other measures following consultation from early 2023 including increasing ANPR / CCTV cameras – £500,000
For more information, contact:
Clir. David Perry,
Leader of the Labour Group