13 January 2011

Lambeth Council leaders write to Eric Pickles protesting at Conservative-led coalition cuts

The Labour leadership of Lambeth Council have written to Eric Pickles, the Government Minister responsible for local government, protesting at the cuts in funding being faced by Lambeth.

The Conservative-led coalition Government have slashed grants by a third over the next three years. They have concentrated the pain in the first two years in spite of calls to spread the cost evenly and allow councils to prepare and protect services.

The Government’s emergency budget has resulted in Lambeth losing a total of £79 million over the next 3 years with a staggering £37 million worth of savings having to be met for the next financial year.

In a strongly worded letter to the Secretary of State for Local Government Eric Pickles Councillor Paul McGlone, who is responsible for the council's finances, outlined the impact the cuts will have on Lambeth residents with cuts having to be made to schools, care services for older people, policing, house-building and repairs, help for the unemployed, carers, disabled people and even child care.

The cuts to local government are also hitting inner city boroughs harder than many of the rich rural shires meaning that the poorest will be hit the hardest with a third of Lambeth’s children already living in poverty and a quarter of our workforce falling into the poorest section of the country.

Lambeth is one of the most efficient London borough councils after cutting £30 million of waste over the last 4 years however further savings cannot ‘simply be met by the same approach so the reductions in council grants will hit services hard.

Councillor McGlone (pictured here with Vassall Labour Councillor Kingsley Abrams)  said “The cuts to Lambeth will punish the most vulnerable in community and slashing budgets in this way will set back years of progress achieved by Lambeth, we need a fair and balanced approach to the unavoidable deficit that was caused by the global banking crises. To implement cuts of this level in such a short space of time will ultimately cause immense damage to local communities such as Lambeth’s and take years to repair”.

Councillor McGlone has asked to meet with Eric Pickles personally to state Lambeth’s case for a fairer funding deal

See the letter sent by Councillor Paul McGlone to Eric Pickles

See also Evening Standard - Cuts will spark a teen crime whirlwind, says council chief