We are investing in street lighting, school buildings, parks and roads
- Credit: Sam Volpe
Next month Haringey will raise its council tax by 4.99%. We are not alone in taking this decision. Camden, Barnet and more than three quarters of other London Boroughs will be doing the same.
It’s not something we wanted to do, but it is a difficult decision we have reluctantly had to take if we want to deliver the best services for our residents.
As a council we believe council tax is a regressive tax and an imperfect way to raise local finance. National government needs to work with local councils to develop a fair and sustainable funding model for local government in the future; one that properly reflects need and deprivation and is based on the principle that those with the broadest shoulders should carry the greatest weight.
We believe that we must continue to invest in our infrastructure. This is important in order to provide our residents with the services and quality of life they expect and deserve, but also, because investing in our neighbourhoods and communities is a progressive route to investing in our people.
That is why we are investing in new streetlights to make our streets safer, with roads resurfaced, pavements improved and improved parking for disabled people.
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We are investing in our school buildings to support all our children’s learning and a new youth hub in Wood Green.
We are investing in our parks, green spaces and public realm as well as a number of measures to tackle urban flooding.
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Furthermore, we are taking steps to tackle climate change, enhance energy efficiency, reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality as set out in the Climate Change Action Plan. Our determination to make Haringey a greener, safer, fairer and cleaner place to live is absolute.
We are also proud that this capital spending will support local jobs and the local economy. Our procurement and community wealth building strategies mean that more of this investment will not just benefit local people as the borough becomes greener, safer and cleaner, with a public realm we can all be proud of, but it will benefit the local economy as we seek to work with more local suppliers, employing local staff.
The Covid pandemic has resulted in us all spending more time at home and in our immediate local area. We have all been reminded of the importance of our local neighbourhood, our local park, our neighbours and communities, and how much value they bring to our lives.
As a council, we will never lose sight of the fact that we are spending public money, and for every penny that we spend, we are determined to get the maximum level of public benefit.
- Cllr Joseph Ejiofor (Lab) is leader of Haringey Council.