Since 2010 Lambeth has had over £140m cut from its budget, with another £40m due to come out this year, and another £55m of cuts by 2019-20.
Half of Lambeth’s spending goes on adult social care and child protection – and the council’s budget is being halved.
As a Labour council, and as local councillors, we want to protect our most vulnerable residents and have prioritised protecting social care, child protection and Lambeth’s award-winning services to support residents affected by violence against women and girls.
At the same time, Lambeth is picking up the bill for the rising cost of the Tory government’s housing crisis – the soaring numbers of homeless families in the borough, who the council provides with temporary accomodation, has seen spending on homelessness rise from £2m a few years ago to over £11m today.
As a council we’ve fought hard against the level of cuts and the unfair way in which the poorest parts of the country have been hardest hit by the government. While Lambeth has had one of the largest cuts in funding of any council in the country, wealthy areas like David Cameron’s Oxfordshire have been protected.
Lambeth has been one of the most prominent councils in opposing the cuts to local services – even being taken to court by former Tory Secretary of State Eric Pickles for raising awareness of the unfairness and scale of these cuts – it is wrong for inner-city authorities like Lambeth to face greater cuts than wealthy shires.
To protect services Lambeth will increase council tax and introduce a special levy to help pay for social care. Together these will add just 36p a week to an average, Band D bill, but will generate millions to support the borough’s most vulnerable residents in tough times.
We are focussing cuts on the council’s back office – but sadly this means hundreds of job loses, and will inevitably have an impact on services. Spending hundreds of millions of pounds less does make a big difference in what we all get as services.
Nobody, least of all Labour councillors, wants to make cuts – but Lambeth Labour won’t repeat the disastrous decisions of Lambeth councillors in the 1980s by failing to set a balanced budget. If the budget isn’t balanced then the Tory government has the power to step in and impose a budget on Lambeth that local people have no say in.
You can find out more about the budget challenge facing Lambeth at: