A rise in council tax, the closure of libraries, an increase in parking fines and a cut in funding for local charities are all options being considered by Harrow Council as its leader admits: “This is going to be tough.”

The Labour administration is currently preparing its draft budget which will be published in December, detailing how taxpayer money will be spent in the next 12 months from February 2015.

As a part of a consultation process which will launch this evening, town hall boss Councillor David Perry has detailed the options that the authority will have to consider to make ends meet, inviting you to share your thoughts.

 

Those options include:

  1. The closure of some of Harrow’s libraries
  2. An increase in the amount drivers are fined for parking illegally
  3. Stop funding community festivals such as Under One Sky
  4. Reduce support given to local charities
  5. Close the Harrow Arts Centre and look for an alternative home
  6. Increase council tax by two per cent

Mr Perry told getwestlondon: “We do not just talk about the cuts we are facing from central government as an excuse.

“This £75million in cuts we are being forced to make is a reality, and this is going to be tough.

“Each one of us in the Labour Group became a councillor in the knowledge that we are going to have to make tough decisions.”

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The programme, entitled Take Part, encourages taxpayers to offer their opinion on how they would like their money to be spent, inviting them to contribute both in writing, online, in person at a number of events and by sending in a video to the council’s various social media pages including Twitter and Facebook.

Cabinet member for finance Councillor Sachin Shah said: “This is a part of an open and honest discussion that we want to have with our residents.

“I do not want to be in charge of the council’s budget at a time when we are having to shrink it – I want it to grow and for our residents to prosper, but this is the situation that we are in.”

For more information, visit www.harrow.gov.uk/takepart to learn how you can have your say.