People who live in Enfield are being asked to show their support for the Council to lobby the government for a fairer financial deal for the borough.
This follows years of austerity and ongoing pressure on services following the national emergency as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Enfield Council’s Leader, Cllr Nesil Caliskan, has asked the government to compensate the Council fully for the money spent to deal with the coronavirus, as originally promised.
She also challenged the government for expecting Council’s to hike Council Tax by five per cent to pay for the cost of Covid. The Leader said that the Government position would mean a further burden on the people of Enfield.
On Thursday 28 January, it was agreed at the full Council meeting that a ‘fair funding’ webpage should be set up for residents to show their support for the Council to continue its lobbying efforts.
Those who want to make their voice heard can register their support.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance & Procurement, Cllr Mary Maguire, said: “We have been clear that our priorities are to provide good homes in well-connected neighbourhoods, to have a buoyant local economy that works for everyone and to have safe, healthy and confident communities.
“We will continue to strive to deliver these objectives but our abilities will undoubtedly be hampered by the dwindling support from central government. With resources redeployed to help support local businesses and the most vulnerable affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we would urge the government to fully compensate Enfield Council.”
At the Council meeting, Cllr Maguire confirmed that the Council has only been given just over half of the £29 million anticipated costs related to coronavirus- in 2021/2022 – despite the Government promising to cover all costs.
Enfield Council has been lobbying the government for a fairer deal for its residents as it has been consistently under-funded for several years now, compared to neighbouring boroughs.
Since 2010 Enfield Council has been forced to find £193 million of savings because of government funding cuts and increasing pressure on services while receiving just £50.01 per head in public health allocation. Neighbouring Haringey receives £71.90 and Islington £108.14 per person and Westminster receives 2.5 times per head received by Enfield.
Cllr Caliskan said: “We want Enfield to get behind us to secure fair funding support. We all know we are living in extraordinary times and we are proud that our communities, Council staff, volunteers and NHS colleagues have managed to pull together over the past year to offer all the support necessary to help people through the pandemic while also delivering critical Council services.
"We now need to pull together once more to demand that Enfield is treated fairly and financially compensated in a manner that reflects the needs, size and demographics of the borough.”
As part of the Chancellor’s Comprehensive Spending Review in November 2020, Councils were advised that the announced increase in core funding would have to come from raising Council Tax by up to 5 per cent (1.99 per cent core and 3 per cent adult social care precept).
The government’s review of local government funding has been delayed for a further year in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.