London Borough of Camden
Phone: 020 7974 4444
Dear Camden Resident,
The past two years have been difficult for all of us and I want to thank you for the sacrifices you have made to help keep our community safe. We are still feeling the impact of COVID-19, and I know that many of you are struggling with the rising cost of living. We are helping Camden to recover by supporting the NHS with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, helping residents access food, providing free activities for families and supporting local businesses.
We are here for everyone who needs us. At the same time, local councils are facing huge financial challenges. Since 2010, the Government has cut our funding by 67% per person. Many more people need help as they struggle with health and finances following COVID-19. We are making large savings, trying to make every pound go further. We have worked hard to intervene early to protect vital frontline services, keeping libraries and youth services open.
We asked the Government to increase funding to allow us to meet the costs of COVID-19 and address the needs of our residents that frontline staff are responding to, but the Government has only provided the Council with half of the increase in funding that we need this year. Instead of giving us extra money to meet the cost of the pandemic and enough money to fund services, the Government is expecting councils to meet these costs by raising Council Tax. As a result, we have little choice but to increase Council Tax by 2.99% in order to maintain our funding of vital frontline services. For the same reason, the Greater London Authority is increasing its share of the Council Tax, which means in total you will pay an extra 93p to £2.79 per week, depending on your Council Tax band. Much of the extra Council Tax funding will be Invested in vital social care services, supporting elderly residents, and those living with dementia, mental health issues and disabilities, to live full lives.
We know this is a difficult time for people, which is why we are putting in extra support. We are investing £2 million in a cost of living fund for those hardest hit by the pandemic, and providing an extra £400,000 for domestic abuse services, and funding to help residents access good work. We will continue to push the Government for more direct funding for vital social care services rather than leave it to local Council Tax payers.
If you are worried about paying your Council Tax, please get in touch with us at camden.gov.uk/council-tax-support or call 020 7974 4444 (option 3 then option 2). If you earn less than £497.25 per week, you may be eligible for a discount through our Council Tax Support scheme, which means that more than 16,500 households won’t need to pay any Council Tax at all. To check your eligibility for a £150 one-off payment towards energy bills, visit camden.gov.uk/energyrebate. If you’re worried about paying your bills or accessing food, or need housing advice or mental health support, we are here to help. Call 020 7974 4444 (option 9) or visit camden.gov.uk/coronavirus
In Camden, we have always looked out for each other. We face tough times, but we will continue to put all our energy into keeping communities safe, public services open and supporting residents facing the cost of living crisis. Together we will help our local economy and community recover.
Councillor Georgia Gould,
Leader of Camden Council