Lambeth’s budget 2016/17

Since 2010 Lambeth
has had its
budget reduced by 56% – that’s more than £200 million
– which has had a
devastating effect on the borough’s finances, especially as the majority of Lambeth’s budget doesn’t come from council tax. 

Lambeth’s budget for 2016/17 follows
another round of national cuts from central government. 

The council
also confirmed that in order to support existing services, it will be raising Council Tax by 1.99%,
along with the additional 2% Government precept for Adult Social Care.

Cllr Peck, the
leader of Lambeth Labour, writing
in her blog has said that: “This is undoubtedly the most
difficult economic situation the council has ever faced with the current
government imposing cut after cut. The idea that local authorities such as Lambeth can
keep finding new things to cut is farcical. But we are determined to get through it, protecting the
most vulnerable and finding new ways to provide the basic services which keep
our communities thriving. We
all have to work together and do our bit through these difficult times and I’m
confident the people of Lambeth can rise to this challenge.”

In practical terms, this changes mean
the council will be reducing its size with fewer staff employed – reductions
will have to be made in most areas, including the cultural services budget. We’re having to drive more efficiencies with our partners in areas like public health and social care, doing all we can protect frontline adult and children social care services as much as possible, protecting our important work around Violence Against Women and Girls, continuing to support those affected by Government welfare reforms and spending more on Council Tax support for those who can’t afford to pay.

In such harsh financial
circumstances, as your three Labour councillors, we will continue to work hard for residents’ needs. 

The next full council meeting will be when we vote on our budget, so we wanted to share some information on context and changes ahead. If anyone has questions about the budget, please get in touch.

PM council cuts hypocrisy

You may have seen in the news that David Cameron criticised his own local council in Oxfordshire for making cuts to frontnline services. The Conservative Leader of Oxfordshire rejected Cameron’s assertions on funding and points out that his council has already cut its back office functions, 40% senior staff and 2800 jobs, as well as selling all available property – all while taking on new responsibilities and managing increased demand for services.

In Lambeth we have lost over 56% of our funding since 2010 – much more than Conservative councils like Oxfordshire – which means unavoidable decisions about what services we can deliver, and how. David Cameron seems to think that there are easy decisions that councils can take, and offered Oxfordshire a meeting with his policy advisers. This kind of special treatment is a breach of the ministerial code so Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth, has written to the Prime Minister requesting the same meeting so that she can make very clear to his advisers the reality of local government cuts in Lambeth.