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Southwark Labour hits out against unfair Government cuts to local services

08 January 2015
Lib Dem Tory Cuts Southwark Labour councillors have hit out against the Government’s announcement of massive cuts to the council’s budget for the fifth year running.

The Labour cabinet has lobbied the Local Government Minister against the unfair level of cuts hitting the council, which has already suffered cuts of around £100 million from its budget since 2010. This year the council must find further savings of more than £30 million for 2015/16 – around 10% of the council’s total budget.

Labour councillors have hit out at the unequal distribution of funding cuts across the country, with more deprived councils, particularly Labour run councils, being hit with significantly greater cuts than other areas. Southwark is facing the third highest cut per household in the country, losing £155 for every household in the borough. In contrast, some Tory boroughs have actually seen a proposed increase in their spending power, for instance a £49 increase per household in Wokingham and a £56 increase in Surrey.

Councillor Fiona Colley, Cabinet member for Finance, Strategy, and Performance, said:
“The cuts imposed by this Tory/Lib Dem Government are hitting communities with the most need the hardest. In Southwark we are facing the third highest cut per household in the country, whilst other areas are seeing their funding increase!

“We have lobbied the Local Government Minister against the unfair level of cuts hitting Southwark. I am also calling on our local MPs, including Government Minister Simon Hughes, to stand up for Southwark and oppose these unfair cuts to local services."

Councillor Colley has also warned that although the council has taken steps to protect and improve frontline services, the continuing and brutal cuts will inevitably result in some council services being reduced or stopped. 
Cllr Colley said: “The continuing reductions in government funding mean that as a council we have some very tough decisions to make. We will continue to do everything we can to limit the impact of the spending cuts on our communities, but I am deeply concerned about what the continued cuts, which are falling disproportionately on the most deprived local authorities, will mean for Southwark’s local services.”



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