Following the government’s autumn statement last week, council leader Peter Mason has repeated his pledge that the council would continue to support families through the cost of living crisis. The government told local councils they could increase council tax by 3% from April next year, plus another 2% to pay for adult social care.
Peter said: “At a time when all households across Ealing are under a massive strain because of rising mortgages, huge increases to energy bills and everyday living expenses rising, the government has now made it clear that local councils, ordinary residents and small businesses will lose out.
“Public services are seeing their budgets squeezed; and tinkering with council tax and allowing local authorities to raise the monthly bills does nothing to enable sufficient, sustainable funding to local government which – in turn – affects the services, support, and growth we want to provide and facilitate in Ealing.
“Councils need adequate funding to provide services that residents use each day. Roads need to be repaired, we must bring down crime, children need after-school clubs, bins must be emptied, and streets must be kept clean. We need to build affordable housing, and we need to invest in the support that businesses need to thrive.
“Ealing Council is working hard to address the massive gap in the cost of providing essential services, with the actual amount of money we have available to us.
“We are developing a really strong package of proposals to prevent problems, or to address them in new ways. We believe public services could and should change lives for the better, and we will do what we can to protect them in Ealing.
“We haven’t closed the gap yet and we absolutely don’t want to have to ask people to pay more council tax, but the buck is being passed on to local councils and local people.”
Council tax decision in the new year
Peter continued: “A decision on council tax in Ealing will be made in the new year, after carefully considering the implications of both the autumn statement and the Local Government Finance Settlement – due in December – when councils find out how much money they will receive from the government.
“In the meantime, we continue to call for the government to provide sufficient, sustainable funding to local government. We are doing everything we can to provide the support and services people need. Our residents should not have to shoulder the burden of austerity yet again.”
Help is available
If you’re struggling with bills, paying for everyday essentials – help is available. Council benefits may help you and local support services are also here to help.
For information on the help available and keeping warm, visit the cost of living section on the council’s website, or visit a council community hub closest to your home:
- Acton Library, Everyone Active, Acton Centre, W3 6NE
- Ealing Central Library, Ealing Broadway Shopping centre, W5 5JY
- Northolt Library, Church Road, UB5 5AS
- Southall Library, The Dominion Centre, UB2 4BQ.
Or, in an emergency, call Ealing Council on 020 8825 7170.