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Islington tables plans to leave council posts vacant as part of £49m savings drive

Islington Borough Council has announced proposals to invest £57m in the construction of new council homes and scrap council tax for foster carers.

The council also stated that it plans to save £32m in 2018-19 and £17m in 2019-20, through measures including not filling vacant posts across children’s services, the chief executive’s department and public health.

The plans were published this week as part of the council’s budget proposals, in which the council revealed that it planned to find savings of £49m over the next two years through one off and ongoing savings.

Since 2010, the council says that it has been hit by “significant cuts,” along with “unavoidable demographic and inflationary cost pressures,” which have meant that it has had to find £194m of savings over the past eight years.

The council claims that it will have received a reduction in core government funding of around 70% between 2010 and 2020.

In addition, it expects a further 10% cash reduction in its core settlement funding over the next two years, combined with ongoing inflationary, demographic and structural funding pressures.

The pledge to make foster carers exempt from council tax is designed to help with the costs of living in a bid to encourage more residents to take on the role.

Islington Council plans to offset this reduction in income through charging double council tax to those who own empty properties in the borough, subject to the government passing relevant legislation.

Cllr Andy Hull, executive member for finance, performance and community safety, said: “Despite ongoing government cuts and increasing demand for our services, we are continuing to invest in our key priorities and making Islington a fairer place for our residents.

“Our 2018-19 budget includes our biggest investment to date in building much-needed council homes, and scrapping council tax for foster carers, who perform vital services in our community and transform the lives of many children and adults.”

The proposals will be debated by the full council on 22 February, when the council’s budget for 2018-19 will be set.

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