INCREASING demand for social care services was at the heart of Hillingdon Council’s budget-setting.

The Conservative-led council last night (23) set a core council tax increase of 2.99 per cent with the adult care levy set at 2 per cent. It equates to a total increase of £1.21 for a Band D property.

It stressed the rise was well below the rate of inflation, despite government funding not meeting the additional cost pressures being experienced. 

Free weekly waste and recycling collections will continue, as well as road and pavement resurfacing, town centre improvements and environmental projects, but the borough is looking to make savings of £21m for 2023/24. 

Cllr Martin Goddard, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “It is clearer than ever that government grants are nowhere near meeting the additional cost pressures for services.

“It is putting a huge strain on local authorities right across the country against the backdrop of challenging economic conditions nationally and internationally.”

Hillingdon’s five-year capital programme includes:  

  • £565m for housing.  
  • £35m for a new leisure centre in West Drayton. 
  • £25m for a new outdoor activity centre to replace those displaced by HS2.
  • £25m for initiatives to reduce carbon footprint.
  • £25m towards the creation of more school places for children with special educational needs.

Labour councillors opposed what they described as the largest cuts in recent history in the borough.

Their leader, Cllr Peter Curling, said the Conservative administration had lost its vision and direction and was now just desperate.