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Southwark Labour protects youth services and street cleaning in council budget

29 February 2016
Southwark Labour councillors voted on the council’s budget last week, committing to keep Council Tax low, protect services for residents and deliver on manifesto commitments, despite the deep and on-going cuts to the council’s budget from Government.

Over the last 5 years, Southwark council has had to make savings of over £156m because of government cuts to our budget, equivalent to a third of the council’s budget. Despite this, the Labour administration has remained ambitious, protecting libraries, investing in the borough and delivering manifesto commitments such as free swimming and gym for all residents, which will launch in July this year.

Labour councillors have listened to residents and have committed to bringing forward additional savings in the 2016/17 budget in order to deliver an additional £1m for voluntary organisations working with young people in the borough, as well as putting money back into street cleaning.

In amendment to the budget Labour councillors voted for additional money to continue grant funding for voluntary sector organisations working with young people for at least a further two years beyond 2016/17, as well as protecting mechanical overnight street sweeping and overnight flytip clearance.

Cllr Fiona Colley, Cabinet Member for Finance, Modernisation and Performance, said: "Times are tougher than ever for council finances, and it’s only right that local people have a say in changes that will affect them.  We have listened hard to what our residents have said, and these final amendments to our proposed budget show that we respond.

"There’s no doubt that our youth service needed some major changes, both to make sure  young people are getting the services they want and need, and to get the most from our squeezed resources. The voluntary sector has shown us over many years of dedicated service in this area that they are best placed to deliver on both objectives, and that’s why I’m delighted to announce that we’ve found an extra £1m for grant funding for beyond 2016/17, guaranteeing support for these valued bodies for at least two more years.

“We also know how much Southwark residents value our clean streets, and we’ll do all we can to keep standards high. This amendment means we can maintain our overnight cleaning, which is excellent news.”


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