15 December 2010

Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark Council leaders condemn government cuts

The three Labour leaders of Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark Councils have issued a joint statement laying out their opposition to the huge cuts for local councils announced by the Coalition Government.

As part of the settlement for local government the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has cut funding to the three councils by millions of pounds.

Between them the three council leaders represent nearly a million people including some of the most deprived communities in the country. The settlement announced on 13 December 2010 is not the first government decision that will disproportionately affect people living in inner-city areas, but comes on the back of changes to welfare, higher education and social housing.

Councillor Steve Reed, Leader of Lambeth Council, Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham and Councillor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council issued a statement saying “Between us we represent some of the most deprived inner-city areas in the UK and almost 1 million people. The Tory/Lib Dem government’s announcement to cut council funding by millions of pounds is a hammer-blow to our boroughs and hits our people hard. This was not an inevitability but a short-sighted political choice; it was not an unavoidable outcome but a calculated decision to put dogma ahead of decency."

“We will each work with local residents to try and minimise the pain of these cuts but we are united in our opposition to them. The decision will force all Councils to cut highly valued services. We share local people’s anger about this, and will stand alongside our communities through the challenging months and years ahead”.