Across the country, working people are struggling to make ends meet, and so are local councils. 

Nearly one in five councils have said they are likely to declare bankruptcy next year due to underfunding. Thankfully, Haringey is not one of them.  

I want to reassure our residents that we have managed to set a balanced budget for 2024/25. This has not been an easy task - after 14 years of austerity, every round of funding cuts compound to make each budget setting more demanding than the last. 

Our government funding is an estimated £143 million less in real terms than it was in 2010/11.  

Haringey is among the boroughs with the highest levels of deprivation in London, bringing greater need for social care and other services.  These pressures, along with persistent high inflation, are driving up what we spend on our core services and putting significant strain on council finances. 

 If the Government is unwilling to properly fund local services, then we will step up for the people of Haringey.

We have had to make a number of tough decisions to help balance the budget, but despite all the challenges we will proudly continue to resource our fantastic libraries, children’s centres, parks, leisure facilities, affordable house building programme, and youth services. 

Ham & High: Peray Ahmet says that Haringey Council is ambitious for the borough's futurePeray Ahmet says that Haringey Council is ambitious for the borough's future (Image: Haringey Council)

The council is ambitious for the borough’s future. Our council house building programme remains on track, and we will deliver our key commitment of 3,000 new council homes by 2031. This investment will make a real difference to local people with affordable, high-quality, modern, eco-friendly homes supporting families out of temporary accommodation and homelessness. 

We will continue to pursue our climate and air quality goals by creating more school streets and increasing tree planting as well as making our homes climate-change proof through retrofitting and smart design. We will continue to encourage active travel through installing more cycle lanes and bike hangars.

Local authorities across the political spectrum have campaigned for government to provide fairer funding, in response the Government has called on councils with budget shortfalls to use their reserves to fill the gap.

Reserves can only be spent once, so as a responsible local authority we have sought to minimise their use as much as possible.  We have done this through a focused drive on efficiency and delivering maximum value for money.  

 I would like to thank all the residents who participated in the budget consultation, whose feedback shaped our thinking and approach. Our budget invests in the local services that our communities value and invests in Haringey's future as a fairer, greener borough. 

  • Cllr Peray Ahmet is leader of Haringey Council.