Investing in Enfield's Future

Inside of Council chamber

Enfield Council will continue to invest in the borough with a far-reaching programme to deliver its priorities and defend frontline services, despite the challenging economic climate.

Alongside a balanced council budget, an update on the Council’s capital programme was presented to councillors on Thursday, 22 February, which outlined the £315.5 million investment in key strategic objectives for 2024/25.

Enfield Council’s cabinet member for Finance and Procurement, Cllr Tim Leaver, said: “The Council’s plans to invest in Enfield remain ambitious but affordable. Our budgets have been under pressure this year from high levels of inflation and chronic underfunding from central government, but despite these challenges we have balanced our budgets, enabling us to continue our plan to invest in Enfield. From building hundreds more and better homes to investing our borough's schools, the investment set out in our capital programme will help Enfield residents flourish and succeed.”

A significant proportion of the spending is focused on delivering homes desperately needed by local people. This will help tackle the housing crisis where there are not enough affordable homes available to meet demand. In addition, the investment in housing will help with costs related to temporary accommodation which is the single biggest driver of budget pressures for many councils, including Enfield.

With the agreed investment, housebuilding will continue to be seen at Meridian Water, with 280 more homes in 2024/25, 99 of which will be council homes. Funding to the tune of £29.4 million will be provided to Housing Gateway Limited - owned by Enfield Council - to acquire 100 new properties. Housing Gateway offers assured shorthold tenancies with no need for credit checks or deposits from tenants. It reduces the reliance on temporary accommodation and helps people on the pathway to secure housing in the private rental sector.

Furthermore, £101.7 million has been earmarked for projects delivered through the Housing Revenue Account, with £47.2 million allocated to improving our existing stock, £51.7 million to deliver new affordable homes, and £2.8 million for property adaptations for disabled residents, ensuring they can live more independent lives and reducing the need for additional care provision.

Another significant area of investment is in children and young people, so they are able to have the best start in life. The education capital programme is forecasting spend of £20.7 million in 2024/25 to deliver a programme of projects to ensure schools are fit for the 21st century with energy efficiency, decarbonisation projects and site works. This will help the Council meet its pledge to reach net zero carbon emissions as a borough by 2040.

Alongside this, £12.9 million of capital grant has been earmarked for three projects to deliver additional Special Educational Needs (SEN) places. This includes the Council’s funding contribution towards the development of a new Free Special School that will provide 96 places for pupils with autism and complex needs and new SEN provision on an existing site for at least 30 pupils.

Cllr Leaver added: “The programme has been rigorously scrutinised and challenged to ensure all spend is in line with the Council’s corporate objectives and all additional borrowing is kept to a minimum. The vast majority of our investment programme this year will be from grants and capital receipts, not borrowing, but our borrowing rates are lower than the previous year and we are delivering a balanced budget for 2024/25, helping to safeguard the finances of the borough.”

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