The budget proposals agreed by Lambeth’s cabinet include £250,000 to fund the activity of the Citizen’s Assembly on Climate Change in addition to the millions already spent on green initiatives by the council.
Lambeth was the first council in London to declare a Climate Emergency, and in establishing a Citizen’s Assembly the council will work with residents on a plan to significantly reduce carbon emissions across the borough. The plan will ensure that Lambeth plays its part in helping London, and the UK, reach their climate change goals and deliver the outcomes within the borough plan.
This demonstrates the council’s commitment in playing its part in tackling the climate crisis, whilst also investing in a range of initiatives like supporting active travel, investing in green and renewable energy, retrofitting houses and energy efficiency upgrades at schools, rolling out electric vehicle charging points, tree planting and greening measures.
In last year’s budget, the Council agreed to invest of £500,000 in tackling serious youth violence and this year an extra £1m is being proposed. This additional investment reflects the council’s priorities and what residents told us were their priorities in last year’s budget consultation.
The 2020-21 budget package also protects funding for services to support women and girls who are victims of domestic violence, child mental health services and advice services for those affected by welfare changes.
The council is proposing that Council Tax be increased by 1.99%, plus the 2% Government Adult Social Care precept, to help fund vital services, investment in new homes and schools, commitments to tackling youth violence, and spend around climate change. Council Tax rates will remain among the lowest in London, delivering value for money whilst ensuring additional investment to ensure the council supports the most vulnerable.
Additionally, the council is putting in place a 1% “social value” levy on all of our major third-party contracts, which will generate an additional £1.2m. This will be spent through our Youth Opportunity Fund, using our purchasing power in the local economy to provide direct social value for our residents.
Word from the Cabinet
Cllr Andy Wilson, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The future of local government funding has remained uncertain despite the General Election – one-off yearly funding, with Comprehensive Spending review and reforms to adult social care are still yet to take place, and the Fair Funding Review upcoming where inner London boroughs are likely to end up worse off.
“Adults and children’s services are under pressure and underfunded by central government. These service areas make up a significant amount of our budget, with demand and associated costs forecast to increase into the future. The reality is that the resources that the council has to allocate to these under successive Tory governments is not sufficient to meet the rising demands in our population.
“In the face of financial uncertainty, we must continue to manage our finances prudently and ensuring we continue to prioritise, fund and deliver the services that our residents rely on. Despite uncertainty and funding challenges faced, this budget continues to reflect our priorities as an administration with investment in tackling youth violence, tackling the climate crisis, and protecting services that our most vulnerable residents rely upon.”