The Court of Common Council, the City of London Corporation’s main decision-making body, has agreed to protect spending on social care, rough sleeping and academies as part of an effort to ensure the organisation’s finances remain on a sustainable footing over the medium-term.
Elected Members discussed a number of proposals relating to the City Corporation’s 2021/22 budget amid a challenging economic outlook, which has led to significant lost income due to the closure of many services and facilities – including, in particular, the Barbican Centre.
At a virtual meeting, councillors agreed an increase in the adult social care precept of 3.00% from 1 April 2021, to help in meeting additional social care costs during the pandemic.
They also announced that council tax will otherwise be frozen in 2021/22.
Business rates premium – used to support the City of London Police, security and contingency planning activity within the Square Mile at an enhanced level – will also be frozen at 0.8p in the pound in 2021/22 given the impact of Covid-19 on City businesses.
Elected Members have also decided partially to protect the Community and Children’s Services budget, which will see a reduction of 6% in 2021/22.
This compares to 12% budget reductions across other services areas in 2021/22. In 2021/22, the City will also be implementing a new target operating model, enabling substantial organisational efficiencies.
Chairman of the Finance Committee, Jeremy Mayhew, said: “Elected Members agreed to act prudently, strongly reinforcing, over the medium-term, the sustainability of our finances.
“These tough decisions are crucial given the continuing financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertain economic outlook.
“It is vital that the City Corporation has a robust financial plan, so that we can continue to provide high quality, efficient services for workers, residents and visitors.
“We are committed to building back better and ensuring the Square Mile flourishes for generations to come.”