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Islington Council budget proposals include £57 million for new council homes and scrapping council tax for foster carers

Islington Council is proposing to invest £57million to build new council homes and to scrap council tax for all foster carers in its budget proposals for 2018/19.

The council yesterday (Tuesday) published its budget proposals, which focus on Islington’s key priorities for 2018/19. By 2020, the government will have cut its core funding to Islington council by 70 per cent since 2010. Despite this, the new budget proposals commit to:

·        Investing £57million into building badly needed new council homes. This is the council’s biggest investment into new build homes to date. Schemes that will benefit from the funding include Kings Square, Dover Court, Elthorne and Park View

·       Meeting the demand for primary school places and providing good quality schools for Islington’s young people, by investing almost £14 million into Tufnell Park Primary School, to provide a modern, new school, that will enable expansion of the school from the current one and a half form entry to three form entry

·      Scrapping council tax for all Islington foster carers, including those who foster adults on the council’s Shared Lives scheme. Any registered foster carers in Islington will not have to pay council tax in Islington, to help them cope with the cost of living and encourage more residents interested in becoming foster carers to take on the role. To fund this, residents that own empty properties in Islington will now be required to pay double council tax on empty properties, subject to the government passing relevant legislation

Cllr Andy Hull, executive member for finance, performance and community safety, said: “Despite ongoing government cuts and increasing demand for our services, we are continuing to invest in our key priorities and making Islington a fairer place for our residents.

“Our 2018/19 budget includes our biggest investment to date in building much-needed council homes, and scrapping council tax for foster carers, who perform vital services in our community and transform the lives of many children and adults.

“We also remain committed to young people and will be putting nearly £14million into rebuilding Tufnell Park Primary School.”

The council needs to make £32million savings in 2018/19, as a result of ongoing government cuts, increased demand for key services and cost pressures.

The budget proposals will go to the council’s executive on Thursday (4 January) before being debated by full council on Thursday, 22 February, when the council’s budget for 2018/19 will be set.

The council’s full budget proposals can be read in full here: http://democracy.islington.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=141&MId=3115&Ver=4