On Thursday 25th February, a meeting of Islington Council agreed the council budget for 2016/17. 

This budget will – 

  • spend an extra £500,000 to support young people in the borough most at risk of turning to gangs and crime, and to offer them an alternative;

  • protect existing budgets for youth work and maintain the Islington Bursary to help disadvantaged young people go to college;

  • protect libraries, care for older people, and other vital services.

The new investment and protection of services came despite the Tory Government’s continued cuts to the council.

By 2020, Islington Council will have lost over 70% of its government funding in a decade. 

Commenting on the successful agreement of the budget, Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council, said:

“This budget protects vital services and will help us to make a difference on the things that matter to local people – building more affordable homes, helping more people into work, and investing in the future of young people in our borough.

“We are continuing with the £100 Council Tax discount for older residents; protecting the bursary for less well-off young people that want to go to college; sustaining the Free School Meals policy; and all libraries are protected.

“Protecting young people in our borough is absolutely vital, and we will be spending an extra £500,000 to help those most at risk of turning to gangs and crime.  

“However, with the continued massive cuts this Tory Government are imposing on our borough – which include proposed devastating changes to housing rules that we are fighting against – working to make a difference for our residents becomes ever more important.

“The council I lead will always be on the side of local people, and we will continue to stand up against this Tory Government and its attack on our community.”

The council budget for 2016/17 was passed with the sole Green Party councillor abstaining. 

Pictured – Cllr Richard Watts 

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