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Finance and money

Lambeth releases 2016/17 budget figures

Tough Choices posterThe dramatic effect of the squeeze on local authority budgets has been laid bare in the latest budget report released by Lambeth Council.

Lambeth’s core government funding will have been cut by 56% between 2010 and 2018, which means increases in council tax and some tough choices about what services will look like in the future.

But the council remains committed to protecting the borough’s most vulnerable residents.

Since 2011, the Council has identified £182m of savings – including more than £40m this year – and a further £55m needs to be found by 2019/20.

Staffing restructures have seen the council workforce shrink by 1,000 people since 2010, with hundreds more due to leave by the end of this year. The number of council buildings is also reducing from 14 to two in order to save money.

But further cuts will have to be found.

Lambeth council Leader, Cllr Lib Peck, said: “This is undoubtedly the most difficult economic situation the council has ever faced with the current government imposing cut after cut.

“The idea that local authorities such as Lambeth can keep finding new things to cut is farcical.

“But we are determined to get through it, protecting the most vulnerable and finding new ways to provide the basic services which keep our communities thriving.

“We all have to work together and do our bit through these difficult times and I’m confident the people of Lambeth can rise to this challenge.”

Just over half of Lambeth’s budget is spent on Adult Social Care and Children’s Services.

The most vulnerable residents will remain the council’s priority. Lambeth’s award winning violence against women and girls work will be protected, along with children & adult services as much as possible.

The council has worked closely with community groups to maintain youth and play services and will maintain welfare assistance and one of the most generous Council Tax Support Scheme in London.

Residents are being asked to do their bit by using council services online and recycling more of their waste.

The council will take up the government’s suggested two per cent precept on council tax to raise funds for social care. This will come on top of the already agreed 1.99 per cent rise. This additional council tax will raise around £4m and means a family living in a Band D property will pay 36p extra per week.

Crackdowns on fraud, anti-social behaviour and littering will help save money along with the renegotiation of various contracts including environmental services, customer services and enforcement contracts.

As well as budget savings, the council is keen to use Lambeth’s appeal to bring in money for the borough through growth and development, which has raised £25m since 2010 and could generate more than £90m over the next five years.

For more information on the budget, please visit www.lambeth.gov.uk/ToughChoices

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