Greenwich Council create £5 million fund to support recovery

Greenwich Council are to create a £5 million fund after finances weren’t as badly hit by covid as expected.

The fund is included some way down a council report drawn up for next week’s Cabinet Meeting. See Agenda item named 2020/21 Revenue Outturn.

The report presents an update on spending in a number of area, and states collection of tax rates was better than expected.

Alongside higher revenues, government support means Greenwich has the ability to create a £5 million fund to “invest in our communities and support recovery”.

There is no mention in the report of what that support could be.

The report lists potential future funding problems. It has been borrowing internally:

Other issues are potential changes to New Homes Bonus and Business rates.

New Homes Bonus is a payment from central Government for each new homes created, and Greenwich has seen tens of millions from the fund over the past decade. It’s generally been in the top three authorities in London and top 10 nationwide.

I first covered it in 2017, as by then £54 million was already received or due.

Income missing

It’s not the only fund related to new housebuilding. Tens of millions due from another fund – the Community Infrastructure Levy – has not been collected by Greenwich council.

As reported on this site in recent days, Greenwich was last of any London council to collect money last year (just £1.3 million versus over £23 million in Tower Hamlets, for example) but also lag other authorities over the five years since introduction.

Yesterday I did some digging into other south London boroughs.

In Lambeth, £10.4 million was collected 2019/20 and £26,022,000 million from 2015 to March 2019.

In Greenwich, just £1.3m collected in 2019/20 (lowest in London) and £8.7 million 2015 to March 2020 (an extra year and less than a third of Lambeth’s total).

Southwark have collected £46,973,130 from developers since 2015. Far more than Greenwich at £8,727,087.

Lewisham collected £5.8m last year compared to £1.3m in Greenwich. Almost as much as Greenwich’s five year total.

Greenwich are far behind other authorities, despite seeing higher levels of development.

So while the £5 million fund in Greenwich is to welcome (and assuming they are open about where it’s spent) they’d have many millions more if they collected owed income to benefit various areas within the borough.

 

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John Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

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