A raft of cuts and increased taxes are set to come as part of Redbridge Council’s annual budget.

These include slashes to funding for adult social care, the general housing fund and leisure and culture.

The authority is grappling with reduced central government funding and has so far had more than £160 million slashed from its overall budget since 2010.

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal and cabinet member for finance Cllr Kam Rai yesterday announced Redbridge is now expected to make a further £33million worth of savings over the next five years as central government funding is further reduced.

As part of proposals, the council plans to bring in a new night-hours tax for commercial businesses operating outside traditional opening hours in an attempt to raise further funds.

The cost of a business parking permit is set to nearly double.

In the 2019-20 financial year, the council plans to spend £3.89 million less on adult social care – which includes home care for vulnerable and elderly adults and funds for social workers – than it did last year.

The authority has also raised council tax levels by 3.99 per cent overall, with one per cent of that increase ringfenced to further fund adult social care specifically.

Just under £500,000 has been slashed from the general housing fund, used for building, purchasing and maintaining council houses.

Of the remaining budget, £103 million has been ringfenced for building new homes and £70 million will be used to buy new council homes and replenish existing homes.

But the authority has secured £26.45 million from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan specifically for purchasing new, affordable council homes.

A further £43,900 has been cut from the borough’s leisure and culture budget, which will fund libraries, leisure centres and arts initiatives across Redbridge.

However, £1 million has been invested specifically into street cleansing across the borough, with the majority of funding going to employ new patrolling areas and enforcing fly-tipping laws.

A total of £2 million is being invested in CCTV cameras, installing new ones and updating older ones.

The regeneration of Ilford town centre will see £6.45 million pumped into improvement of the area.

The council has also increased its spending for children's services by almost £61,000 and has almost doubled its spending on education and inclusion from £9.18 million to £17.19 million.

In spite of this, Redbridge Conservatives slammed the budget announcement.

Cllr Linda Huggett said: “This is not a budget strategy, it is a budget tragedy.

“This budget is an unaffordable burden on the shoulders of hard working Redbridge council taxpayers. It is also a slap in the face for local businesses. At a time when our retail business are struggling, the doubling in cost of business parking permits is unjustifiable.

“The new night time levy is simply a stealth tax which will sound the death knell for what’s left of our night time economy. We should be encouraging businesses to develop a night time economy in Redbridge and not destroy it.

“We say this is letting residents down badly. While Redbridge Labour recklessly spend and borrow, it is the residents and businesses of Redbridge that will have to pick up the bill and clear up the mess.”

Currently, Redbridge is the lowest funded local authority in London, and 29th out of 32 boroughs for with one of the lowest spending levels in the capital.

But the council also boasts the title of one of the most efficient in the country thanks to its money-saving tactics.

Cllr Athwal said: “We have maintained weekly bin collections, green waste collection and free bulky waste collection. And look at the libraries, they’re all open. The reason we’ve kept these services open is with innovations and we need to keep them coming thick and fast.”

The leader added there has been a greater push for online services and self service with council services being centralised at Lynton House in Ilford.

Cllr Rai added that the council’s overall budget has been balanced for the next financial year with no contributions from reserves necessary.

He said the new budget is focusing on investment to make savings overall with self-funding services a top priority.