The leader of Brent Council admitted that it has some “difficult decisions” to make as it looks to find £26 million worth of savings over the next two years.

Cllr Muhammed Butt explained that the inevitable changes outlined in the council’s next budget will have a negative impact on people living in Brent.

This could include the introduction of 15-minute calls in care homes, the closure of all children’s centres and cuts to the council tax support scheme.

He blamed the Government for consistently cutting funding to local authorities and laughed off the idea that the Conservatives will change their policy.

“How can they talk about an end to austerity when our grant is reduced once again?” he said.

“Whatever the Government is saying, the fact is we have to make millions of pounds worth of savings – their words are hollow.”

As well as dwindling funding, Cllr Butt explained that the council must deal with projected population growth, an extra strain on public services and a commitment to the London Living Wage.

To combat this, the council will raise council tax by the maximum amount permitted without triggering a local referendum.

This will be either 3.99 per cent or 4.99 per cent – pending an upcoming government decision – and will cost the taxpayer an average of £60 a year, depending on their band.

Cllr Butt noted that this will bring in an extra £4.5 million but this is well short of the amount required to maintain the council’s current level of service.

“Business rates, new homes and an increase in council tax can help, but we need to understand that we are facing some difficult decisions elsewhere,” he explained.

“It’s reached a point where it will impact on people living in Brent. It’s not what we want but it’s the way things have gone for councils everywhere.”

To provide “transparency”, the council has published a list of the services that will be cut or altered to help save money.

These range from those that are recommended to those which are considered ‘most difficult’ – those which will have the greatest impact on people in the borough.

And it has urged the public to get involved with a consultation on the budget proposals, which will involve several ‘Brent Connect’ meetings and will run until January.