Councillors took aim at the government’s austerity policies as they approved a further council tax rise and cuts to services.

People in Enfield face a 4.92 per cent hike in council tax from April 1, pushing up an average household’s bills by more than £76 a year to just shy of £1,632.

The charge results from a 2.99 per cent rise in core council tax, a further 1 per cent increase to pay for adult social care and an extra 0.93 per cent levied on behalf of the Greater London Authority.

The extra revenue will enable the council to plough £11.4 million into adults’ and children’s social care at a time of growing demand for services.

It will also help set up a £1 million fund to tackle serious youth violence over the next two years after the borough was found to have the highest rate in London.

But more than a decade after the financial crisis, ongoing austerity measures mean the Enfield Council has been forced to shave millions of pounds off its budget for 2019-20.

The council has already made £178 million of savings since 2010 and will make a further £13 million in the next financial year.

Savings include nearly £2 million cuts to public health spending and a more than £1 million reduction in spending on temporary accommodation for homeless people.

As well as making cuts, the council plans to raise £2.4 million through measures such as expanding pest control and the commercial waste service.

This means the council will still need to use £1 million of reserves to balance its books.

Despite all these cost-cutting measures, current estimates suggest the council will face a £12 million budget gap during the 2020-21 financial year – meaning further cuts could be on the table in 12 months’ time.

Cabinet member for finance Cllr Mary Maguire said: “We have set this budget in the most difficult of circumstances, with one more year of Tory austerity where we face cuts. We have very little wriggle room.

“Any cuts we have are going to be kept to a minimum – but they will hurt.

“It is no good the Government providing one-off funding now and again. We need a government that will end austerity and put local government finance on a sustainable footing.”

Cllr George Savva, Labour member for Haselbury, added: “History repeats itself, where man shows inhumanity to man, by hitting local government – where it hurts more the needy, the elderly and the disabled, schools and education.

“Where do they (the Conservative government) live – do they live on Mars? They are not behaving as human beings.”

Cllr Daniel Anderson said Enfield suffered major challenges due to an out-of-date funding formula that meant it received less money per head than other London boroughs such as Hammersmith and Fulham.

He said: “The people of Enfield are being terribly serviced by an approach the Government is wholly responsible for.

“They are looking to review the process – but I don’t hold out much hope.

“Residents should be angry this is what we are faced with.”

Labour cabinet members criticised Conservative leader Cllr Joanne Laban for leaving the room during the budget discussion, which came after a debate on changes to bin collections.

But Cllr Laban said she had left the room temporarily because residents wanted to voice their concerns to her about the bin collection shake-up.

She returned towards the end of the discussion, and her Conservative colleague Cllr Jim Steven was present throughout the debate.

The budget for 2019-20 will now go to full council for final approval.