Services that matter most to local people were protected and council tax frozen last night as Lambeth Council set its 2012/13 budget. However, the leader of the council warned that many residents will still be affected by the tough choices the council has to make.
Council Leader, Councillor Steve Reed said: “The Government has cut one in every three pounds from our net budget and the impact of this will be felt by every resident. The Government’s funding cuts have hit Lambeth harder than areas like Richmond where funding per capita has actually increased. This means our council has faced extremely tough choices, the hardest for over a generation.
“Despite this, we have done everything we can to protect frontline services. Nearly two thirds of the spending reductions have come from back office services rather than the front line. No more than 3% of the savings have involved closing services altogether.”
Despite the impending cuts, the council has worked hard to protect key services. In particular the council is protecting:
- support for children and older people at risk of harm
- care for children with physical or learning disabilities
- investment in better housing and cleaner streets
- meals on wheels
- frontline youth services.
The council has worked hard to save money by freezing pay, reducing staff and sharing services with neighbouring councils. It is selling underused council buildings to provide funding for new school places. At a time when many local households are seeing their own budgets squeezed, the council has frozen council tax with no increase at all for the fourth year running.
- More information at www.lambeth.gov.uk/toughchoices