- Cutting 16 of the council charges we inherited
- Freezing 178 other council charges this year
- Cutting, in real terms, 85% of all council charges as measured by the income they raise
- Cutting meals on wheels prices from £4.50 to £2.00
- Abolishing the £12 per hour charge for home care for elderly and disabled residents and this year abolished the 15-minute-only visits to give people more time for the care they need
- Introduced zero-based budgeting to focus on outcomes important to residents rather than just spending on things because that’s the way it’s always been done
- Taking a new tough line to negotiating with developers winning a record £140 million for borough residents
- Selling council services commercially
- Cutting the numbers of expensive senior management
- Re-configuring how the council operates and making it start to work more effectively across council departments and with other local agencies to save money and improve outcomes
- Better debt reduction
|The Evening Standard's graph demonstrating how |
H&F Labour's sound financial management
is helping to deliver London's greatest
percentage reduction in council tax
for the second year in a row.
We're also keen to see how we can encourage more local services which adds to what the council does and improves life for residents so we're exploring new things like The Casserole Club and looking at how we can better work with the voluntary sector to get things done.
This new results-focussed approach to council finances has allowed us to do the following:
- Defend Charing Cross Hospital
- Put the largest number of council funded police officers onto the streets in the borough’s history to counter government cuts and and keep residents safer
- Pay for 529 (so far) new genuinely affordable homes to be built for local residents to buy or rent
- Become accredited as a London Living Wage employer
- Protect street cleaning and refuse collection - halting the former Conservative administration's trend of cutting these services
- Fund new actions to reduce homelessness
- Introduce new green measures such as electric car charging stations and finding new ways to tackle air pollution
- Improving our economic infrastructure such as seeking a new Crossrail 2 station at Imperial Wharf
- Fund a new smarter approach to tackling food poverty
- Invest in new improvements to local parks and saving Hammersmith Park from H&F Conservatives' planned privatisation
- Save the Lyric Theatre with a £4 million grant and fund the Bush Theatre with a £1 million investment
- Guarantee to always pay Independent Living Fund for severely disabled people - when the government was considering cutting it
- Fund the H&F Law Centre ensuring legal advice for those most in need but least able to pay
- Introduce a 25% increase in funding to the voluntary sector so we work better with charities to tackle poverty and improve civic life
- Involve residents in new ways from policy making, land development, neighbourhood regeneration and planning
We've done this against a backdrop of punitive measures to our finances undertaken by the Conservative government. These include:
- Cutting the government grant to Hammersmith and Fulham Council by 66% since 2010.
- Removing the additional annual government grant specifically given to councils to subsidise council tax cuts or freezes
- Giving councils a number of costly new responsibilities but neglecting to provide any new funds to pay for them. For example, new schemes like Staying Put are good ideas but that programme will alone cost H&F roughly £500,000.00.
- Basing future government grants to councils on the assumption that all councils will have increased council tax by 3.75% each year over the next 4 years. In Hammersmith and Fulham that means the government will subtract £2 million a year from all future annual grants in the expectation we will raise that sum by putting council tax up by 3.75% each year.