Hendon Town Hall

Barnet Council will invest extra money in a range of key services to support residents after setting a balanced budget for the next financial year.

The budget, which was approved during a full council meeting on Tuesday (27 February), includes £22m of additional funding for essential services for older and vulnerable residents, £7m to support children and young people, and £2m for homeless families.

It also includes record additional investment of £97m in road and pavement improvement works over the next five years.

The investment in adult, children and homelessness services will help with early intervention and prevention, enabling residents that need extra support to live better quality, more independent lives. It will also help address budget pressures for a more financially sustainable council.

General council tax will increase by 2.98% plus 2% for the Adult Social Care Precept, equivalent to an extra £1.34 a week for a Band D household. This is one of the lowest increases in London.

Efficiency savings were found to close a budget gap that was estimated at £39m in December, driven by high inflation and increasing demand for statutory services the council is legally required to provide.

Barnet Council Leader, Cllr Barry Rawlings, said:

“I am pleased to announce that the 2024/25 budget has been approved by full council.

“This includes extra investment in key services that support our most vulnerable residents, including adults’ and children’s social care.

“It also includes record additional funding to repair and maintain our roads and pavements.

“We have worked incredibly hard to find the savings needed to remain a financially stable council even though our funding has been cut by £100 million in real terms since 2010 and we face huge external financial pressures.

“Barnet continues to have the lowest council tax compared to all our neighbouring boroughs. We are a council that cares for people, our places and the planet and with this budget we invest in the future, deliver on our commitments, and provide the services residents rely on.”

The budget provides the funds for all the council’s services – from free community skips to housebuilding, enhanced street-cleaning programmes, weekly bin collections, and adults’ and children’s social care.

The additional spending is on top of the council’s statutory services.

The council’s five-year £97m funding for improving the borough’s roads and pavements, which will be funded by Community Infrastructure Levy contributions paid by developers in the borough, will be spread evenly between 2024-29. This is on top of the £8m announced in July 2023 for road maintenance including fixing potholes.

An additional £8.96m will be allocated to support the Disabled Facilities Grants Programme, bringing the total spend to £15m in the coming years. A further £5m will be spent on telecare equipment for adult social care clients to continue to live independently at home.

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