‘Our new budget will deliver a fairer, greener Haringey’

Cabinet member for finance Dana Carlin explains how Haringey Council has set a balanced budget for 2024/25

Dana Carlin (credit Haringey Labour)

Once again, we in Haringey have managed to set a balanced budget which puts our residents first.

But it has not been easy. It is a sad fact that six local authorities have already declared bankruptcy since 2018 and dozens more are on the brink. Haringey has been hit with a combination of pressures beyond its control – insufficient money from the government, a spiralling demand for social care services, and persistently high inflation, interest rates, and costs. Haringey’s funding from the government is around £143million less in real terms than it was in 2010/11.

But despite this demanding challenge, we have set a balanced budget for 2024/25. Our residents will continue to get the best possible services and we have always been clear that if the government is unwilling to step up for the people of Haringey, we will do so.

Next year, we will invest an additional £25.5m into our adult and children’s services and also into providing temporary accommodation for families who have been made homeless through no fault of their own. There is a housing crisis in London, and in Haringey we need many more social homes. We are on track to deliver our promise to build at least 3,000 high quality, eco-friendly council homes by 2031, helping local families move into suitable council accommodation. This has only been possible through the millions of pounds provided to us by the mayor of London to support our house-building programme.

We will continue to pursue our climate and air quality goals, create more school streets, and increase tree planting. We’ve planted thousands of new trees and are continuing to plant more. Our community has been amazing by sponsoring trees to help us meet this goal. We want to make our council homes climate change-proof through retrofitting and smart design, and encourage active travel through installing more cycle lanes and bike hangars.

Climate justice is social justice – and this administration’s commitment to building a fairer, greener Haringey remains at the heart of all our decision making.

There has been a lot of talk about our libraries. Across the country, nearly 800 public libraries have closed since
austerity started in 2010. In Haringey, we are proud of our library service and we are not closing any of our libraries. We will work with our residents and friends’ groups to ensure that our libraries thrive and are fit for the future, providing a free public space for all to enjoy.

Local authorities across the political spectrum have campaigned for the government to provide fairer funding. In response, the government has called on councils with budget shortfalls to use their reserves to fill the gap. This is simply not a sustainable long-term solution. Reserves can only be spent once, so as a responsible local authority we have sought to minimise their use as much as possible.

We want this budget to deliver for our residents. This budget is in line with our values and allows us to do what Haringey people elected us to do – to deliver a fairer, greener borough.

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