Harrow Council blamed dwindling funding from central government as it confirmed another council tax increase and further cuts as part of its budget for next year.

A full council meeting approved a council tax increase of 3.99 per cent – which includes a two per cent precept dedicated to adult social care – for 2020/21.

It means residents in band D properties – which pay the average amount of council tax in the borough – will have to fork out an extra £58 across the year.

There will also be around £3.8 million worth of savings across various departments, including cuts to some children’s services, a review of the borough’s library services, and staff reductions.

Cllr Adam Swersky, responsible for finance at Harrow Council, said the council had been forced into making difficult decisions due to a lack of government support.

But he praised the work of officers in arriving at this budget and said the council would continue to support everyone in the borough.

“This Government has a reckless disregard for public services – its message to councils is ‘you are on your own’,” he said.

“Well the message from this administration is ‘we are on your side’.”

He pointed to a £400,000 investment in the council tax support scheme, free welfare benefits assessments and a £150,000 down payment towards tackling the climate emergency.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, expressed similar sentiments, suggesting that it would make the best of a tough situation.

He accused the Government of being “less generous than Fagin” and shifting more and more responsibilities to local authorities without the funding to match.

“This budget lays the foundation to secure a bright future. The Government has abandoned us, but we will continue to deliver,” he said.

The opposition Conservative Group urged the council to adopt its amendments, which included a reduction in the proposed council tax increase of 0.5 per cent and an increase in free street parking from 20 to 30 minutes.

It also planned to support locking all the borough’s public parks and using money earmarked for funding in communications and human resources to tackle street cleaning.

Cllr Marilyn Ashton, deputy leader of Harrow Conservatives, said: “All we’re trying to do is be helpful – we feel as if you’ve got your priorities wrong.

“Why can’t we make it a bit better for our residents? Why should we pay such high council tax?

“All [Labour] seem to do is blame the Government for everything.”

These proposals were rejected, with the original budget approved by cabinet earlier this month given the green light.