Harlow Council’s budget proposals for 2022 unveiled today (19 January 2022) have been hailed by the council’s leader, Councillor Russell Perrin, as a significant moment in Harlow’s history with the delivery of a £55 council tax reduction from Harlow Council and major investments to improve the lives of local families.

The budget proposals include:

  • A £55 reduction on Council Tax bills from Harlow Council*
  • Planned Council Tax freezes until 2025 – taken with the reduction this year residents will pay £67 less to Harlow Council than was previously planned equating to a £2.1 million tax cut in total rather than a £600,000 tax increase
  • £26 million towards building new council homes for Harlow families
  •  £122 million 5-year programme to improve existing council houses and flats
  •  £63 million 5-year programme to improve council-owned facilities across the town
  • £6.4 million to enhance the town’s landscaping and environment
  • No cuts to services, but more investment to improve council services for residents
  • More funding for popular community services including Harlow Playhouse, Pets’ Corner and Harlow Museum
  •  New Estate Renewal Fund to restore pride in our estates and neighbourhoods
  •  A new combined planning and regeneration department to provide focus on delivering town centre and wider regeneration
  • Car parking charges frozen in all Council-owned car parks

The proposals will be discussed by Cabinet on 27 January 2022 and debated at the Full Council meeting on 3 February 2022.

The Leader of Harlow Council, Councillor Russell Perrin, has said that when the council agrees these budget plans it will be making history:

“This is a significant moment in Harlow’s history. This budget will deliver money off Harlow Council’s share of the Council Tax bill – a reduction of £55 for those who pay Council Tax. Never has Harlow Council taken money off a Council Tax bill in this way. We are giving something back to the residents we serve, as well as investing in their priorities.

 A council tax reduction from Harlow Council

“This is a time of great economic uncertainty for local families and I know that there are enormous pressures on everyday household finances. There is one cost we can help control and that is what residents pay us in Council Tax. The Council Tax bills that residents receive will include a reduction from Harlow Council.

 “On top of this we are also set to freeze our part of the Council Tax bill until 2025, so we can help keep household costs down now and in future years. The planned freeze until 2025 combined with the proposed actions being taken this year mean Harlow residents will pay £67 less to Harlow Council than was previously planned.”

 No cuts to services

 “I want to make it clear that our proposed Council Tax reduction does not mean cuts to council services. Not one single Harlow Council service will be cut as a result. In fact, residents will receive more from Harlow Council for less and they will receive better services and see investments that will regenerate our town.

 Your money, your priorities

 “The money the council has is not our money, it is our residents’ money. This budget invests your money into your priorities.

 “There will be more money for building council homes, over £120 million to improving existing council houses and flats. More money to improve council facilities including the much-loved Harlow Playhouse. More money to restore pride in our town with landscaping improvements and the much-needed renewal of our estates and neighbourhoods and dedicated focus on the regeneration of the town and Harlow Town Centre.

 “This budget is all part of us getting on with the job of making Harlow the best town in Britain to raise your family, to live and to be.”

A copy of the budget reports can be found on the Cabinet agenda for 27 January 2022 –https://moderngov.harlow.gov.uk/mgA.aspx?M=1372&LLL=0