Red Lines

Further Tory Cuts to Hit London Councils

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  • London Labour councillors warn Government funding cuts are putting vital services at risk
  • Government set to deliver further £235 million cut to London councils next week
  • London MP and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government urged to protect services Londoners rely on

Funding cuts imposed by the Tory Government are pushing councils across London to ‘breaking point’, London Labour councillors have warned today (29th November).

At a campaign event in Sidcup – the constituency of Tory MP and Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP – Labour councillors from across London, alongside colleagues from the trades union movement, have urged the Government to restore funding to councils to protect vital services.

Cuts imposed by the Tory Government since 2010 have meant that -

  • London councils have lost 60p out of every £1 of core funding that the last Labour Government was spending on local authorities in 2010.[i]
  • By 2020, funding to councils in London will have been cut in real terms by over £4 billion – a cut of 63% in a decade.[ii]
  • London councils are being forced to make further savings of at least £2.1 billion to balance their budgets over the next four years.[iii]

The Government’s cuts come despite rising demand for vital council services, such as emergency support and protection for children. Councils across London recognise the importance of these crucial services, and collectively spent £100 million more than budgeted for last year due to rising demand.[iv]

Despite facing similar gaps in funding for other vital frontline services, like care for older people and tackling homelessness, Tory MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup - James Brokenshire MP, will next week preside over the Local Government Finance Settlement, which is set to hand down further massive cuts to London councils who face further cuts next year (2019/20) of over £235 million.[v]

Ahead of the Local Government Finance Settlement (which will be announced on 6th December), Labour councillors across London have backed calls for urgent funding to be made available.

Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council, said:

“Despite promises from the Prime Minister, it’s clear that Tory austerity is alive and kicking. As a result, councils in London will face further cuts next year. These Government cuts are continuing despite growing demand for vital emergency services that councils provide to Londoners. The Government needs to urgently recognise the financial crisis facing councils in London, and must provide the funding so desperately needed to maintain the essential services our residents and the capital rely on.”

Cllr Daniel Francis, Leader of Bexley Labour Group, said: 

“Next week, James Brokenshire is set to preside over further cuts to Bexley Council of over £5 million – that means further cuts of £53 for every household. The Tory Council here is already making devastating cuts to vital services local people rely on, and these cuts will only hurt more people if our own MP doesn’t stand-up for our communities.”

Cllr Margaret McLennan, Chair of London Labour Finance Forum & Deputy Leader of Brent Council, said:

“Over the last decade, London boroughs have seen massive Government cuts to their core funding, and this is putting unsustainable pressures on vital services. It is also having consequences for the NHS, police and schools. Councils across the capital are working extremely hard to protect the services that Londoners rely on, but further cuts from the Government will push more councils towards breaking point.”

Warren Kenny, GMB London Regional Secretary, said:

“GMB are supporting this campaign by Labour councillors because austerity measures are not only threatening our libraries, parks and other council provided services, but are also failing our children, our elderly and our communities. Local government spending has seen bigger cuts than any other parts of the public sector. Mr Cameron said front line services would be protected. This has been a hollow promise. The cuts have now reached the bones of essential services.

"Austerity cuts have led to poverty pay, homelessness and despair for too many GMB members, their families and friends. The billions of pounds in cuts to local councils mean that services cannot be delivered to an adequate quality due to lack of resources. This experiment of cuts, pinching and squeezing by the government has gone far enough for far too long and caused too much harm. Austerity is a political decision by government, and one which they can and should reverse.”

London councils are also worse-off due to the Government’s cuts than councils in other parts of the country, with ‘spending power’ per capita having been cut by 37% in real terms in London, compared to 29% for the rest of England.[vi] London’s population is also growing at twice the rate of the rest of England, and a failure of Government funding to keep up with this growth has worsened the financial pressures on councils in the capital.

The cuts to boroughs in London are also deeply unfair, as councils in London serve some of the most deprived communities in the country. The Trust for London has found that 27% of Londoners are living in poverty (after housing costs), compared to 21% in the rest of England.[vii]

As part of their campaigning efforts, London Labour councillors have been supporting the Local Government Association Labour Group’s ‘Breaking Point’ campaign. The campaign calls for the Government to -

  • Reverse next year’s planned £1.3 billion cut to council budgets across the country;
  • Immediately invest £2 billion in children’s services and £2 billion in adult social care to stop these vital emergency services from collapsing;
  • Pledge to use the upcoming Spending Review to restore council funding to 2010 levels over the next four years.

Impact of the Tory Government’s further £235 million of cuts to councils in London next year[viii]

 

Cut in RSG* 2018/19 to 2019/20

Cut in RSG per household 2018/19 to 2019/20

Barking and Dagenham

-£5,561,118

-£74.26

Barnet

-£8,682,299

-£58.28

Bexley

-£5,276,946

-£53.78

Brent

-£9,199,455

-£76.46

Bromley

-£4,344,995

-£31.09

Camden

-£9,556,290

-£88.13

Croydon

-£9,401,000

-£60.63

Ealing

-£8,999,761

-£66.71

Enfield

-£8,443,709

-£67.94

Greenwich

-£8,194,458

-£71.46

Hackney

-£10,191,370

-£90.26

Hammersmith and Fulham

-£6,296,234

-£71.56

Haringey

-£8,561,473

-£78.90

Harrow

-£5,772,399

-£63.54

Havering

-£5,471,387

-£52.26

Hillingdon

-£6,469,605

-£58.31

Hounslow

-£6,189,372

-£60.63

Islington

-£8,489,699

-£78.84

Kensington and Chelsea

-£6,329,914

-£71.47

Kingston upon Thames

-£1,545,300

-£23.13

Lambeth

-£11,070,657

-£78.43

Lewisham

-£9,392,780

-£74.06

Merton

-£4,994,635

-£59.24

Newham

-£10,214,859

-£89.77

Redbridge

-£6,545,539

-£63.33

Richmond upon Thames

£0

£0.00

Southwark

-£11,119,526

-£80.72

Sutton

-£5,145,041

-£62.09

Tower Hamlets

-£10,514,513

-£82.45

Waltham Forest

-£7,550,983

-£72.96

Wandsworth

-£7,109,069

-£49.49

Westminster

-£8,462,160

-£67.18

TOTAL

-£235,096,546

-£65.75

[i] www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/5.40_01_Finance%20publication_WEB_0.pdf

[ii] www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/our-key-themes/local-government-finance/london%E2%80%99s-local-services-investing-future/decade-austerity

[iii] www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/node/34501

[iv] www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/node/34501

[v] www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/499148/Key_info_for_local_authorities.xlsx

[vi] https://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/node/34501

[vii] https://www.trustforlondon.org.uk/news/27-londoners-poverty/

[viii] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/499148/Key_info_for_local_authorities.xlsx


London Councils at 'Breaking Point' due to Tory Government Cuts

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Tory Government funding cuts are pushing councils across London to ‘breaking point’, London Labour council leaders have warned.

Cuts imposed by the Tory Government since 2010 have meant that - 

  • London councils have lost 60p out of every £1 of core funding that the last Labour Government was spending on local government in 2010.
  • By 2020, funding to councils in London will have been cut by over £4 billion (63%).
  • London councils face further cuts next year (2019/20) of over £235 million.

The Government’s cuts come despite rising demand for vital council services, such as emergency support and protection for children. Councils across London recognise the importance of these crucial services, and collectively spent £100 million more than budgeted for last year due to rising demand.

Despite facing similar gaps in funding for other vital frontline services, like care for older people and tackling homelessness, London councils are being forced to make further savings of at least £2.1 billion to balance their budgets over the next four years.

London councils are also worse-off due to the Government’s cuts than other parts of the country, with ‘spending power’ per capita having been cut by 37% in real terms in London, compared to 29% for the rest of England. London’s population is also growing at twice the rate of the rest of England, and a failure of Government funding to keep up with this gwoth has worsened the financial pressures on councils in the capital.

The cuts to boroughs in London are also deeply unfair, as councils in London serve some of the most deprived communities in the country. The Trust for London has found that 27% of Londoners are living in poverty (after housing costs), compared to 21% in the rest of England.

The Tory Government is also clearly imposing cuts to councils in a politically motivated way. Next year’s further cuts of £1.3 billion to councils across the country will see Labour-run councils lose on average over £60 per household, with Tory-run councils losing less than half of that. In London, councils will lose, on average, over £65 per household, as a further £235 million is removed from councils’ core funding in 2019/20.

At a meeting of Labour Leaders of London councils today (16th November) in Camden, councillors joined together to show their support for the Local Government Association Labour Group’s ‘Breaking Point’ campaign. The campaign calls for the Government to - 

  • Reverse next year’s planned £1.3 billion cut to council budgets across the country;
  • Immediately invest £2 billion in children’s services and £2 billion in adult social care to stop these vital emergency services from collapsing;
  • Pledge to use the upcoming Spending Review to restore council funding to 2010 levels over the next four years.

Ahead of the upcoming Local Government Finance Settlement on 6th December, which sets funding allocations for local councils, Labour councillors across London have backed calls for urgent funding to be made available.

Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council, said:

“Despite promises from the Prime Minister, it’s clear that Tory austerity is alive and kicking. As a result, councils in London will face further cuts next year. These Government cuts are continuing despite growing demand for vital emergency services that councils provide to Londoners. The Government needs to urgently recognise the financial crisis facing councils in London, and must provide the funding so desperately needed to maintain the essential services our residents and the capital rely on.”

Cllr Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council and Leader of London Councils Labour Group, said:

“London is a vibrant and diverse city that delivers a huge amount each year to the national economy. We need public services to match our capabilities and ambition. The recent National Budget did little to put London boroughs in a financially sustainable position.”

Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council and Deputy Leader of London Councils Labour Group, said:

“London boroughs have experienced core funding cuts of £4 billion this decade. This is putting unprecedented pressure on children’s services, adult social care and housing, impacting people’s lives and having a knock-on effect on the NHS, police and schools. The Government needs to think again.”

Impact of the Tory Government’s further cuts next year to councils in London –

 

Cut in RSG* 2018/19 to 2019/20

Cut in RSG per household 2018/19 to 2019/20

Barking and Dagenham

-£5,561,118

-£74.26

Barnet

-£8,682,299

-£58.28

Bexley

-£5,276,946

-£53.78

Brent

-£9,199,455

-£76.46

Bromley

-£4,344,995

-£31.09

Camden

-£9,556,290

-£88.13

Croydon

-£9,401,000

-£60.63

Ealing

-£8,999,761

-£66.71

Enfield

-£8,443,709

-£67.94

Greenwich

-£8,194,458

-£71.46

Hackney

-£10,191,370

-£90.26

Hammersmith and Fulham

-£6,296,234

-£71.56

Haringey

-£8,561,473

-£78.90

Harrow

-£5,772,399

-£63.54

Havering

-£5,471,387

-£52.26

Hillingdon

-£6,469,605

-£58.31

Hounslow

-£6,189,372

-£60.63

Islington

-£8,489,699

-£78.84

Kensington and Chelsea

-£6,329,914

-£71.47

Kingston upon Thames

-£1,545,300

-£23.13

Lambeth

-£11,070,657

-£78.43

Lewisham

-£9,392,780

-£74.06

Merton

-£4,994,635

-£59.24

Newham

-£10,214,859

-£89.77

Redbridge

-£6,545,539

-£63.33

Richmond upon Thames**

£0

£0.00

Southwark

-£11,119,526

-£80.72

Sutton

-£5,145,041

-£62.09

Tower Hamlets

-£10,514,513

-£82.45

Waltham Forest

-£7,550,983

-£72.96

Wandsworth

-£7,109,069

-£49.49

Westminster

-£8,462,160

-£67.18

TOTAL

-£235,096,546

-£65.75

 *RSG = Revenue Support Grant

**Richmond upon Thames Council does not receive RSG funding

Pictured from left to right - Cllr Graham Henson (Harrow), Cllr Lib Peck (Lambeth), Mayor Damian Egan (Lewisham), Cllr Richard Watts (Islington), Cllr Georgia Gould (Camden), Cllr Peter John (Southwark), Cllr Joseph Ejiofor (Haringey), Cllr Julian Bell (Ealing), Mayor John Biggs (Tower Hamlets), Cllr Margaret McLenan (Brent), Cllr Darren Rodwell (Barking & Dagenham), Cllr Simon Hall (Croydon) and Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz (Newham).


Councillors warn of funding crisis

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LONDON LABOUR COUNCILLORS WARN OF FUNDING CRISIS AND CALL FOR BUDGET ACTION

Labour councillors from across London have warned of an impending funding crisis facing local councils and have called for action in this week’s Autumn Budget.

By the end of the decade (2019/20), core funding from Central Government to local authorities in London will have fallen by 63 per cent in real terms since 2010. The cumulative effect of these funding cuts, inflation and rising demand for services will create a further funding gap in London local government of approximately £1.5 billion in 2019/20 – three times the estimated general fund unallocated reserves available.

Today (20th November), Cabinet Members and Opposition Spokespeople responsible for Finance in 22 boroughs have written to the Chancellor urging action to help them continue to deliver vital local services.

The councillors have also called for a local government pay rise (funded by Central Government), housing measures to build more council homes and specific funding to tackle the growing funding crisis in children’s social care.

Cllr Andy Hull, Executive Member for Finance, Performance and Community Safety at the London Borough of Islington, said:

“Local councils deliver vital services on which Londoners rely. From care for elderly residents, to tackling anti-social behaviour, the services cash-strapped councils provide are in growing demand. That’s why we need the Government to announce urgent action in this week’s Autumn Budget that will allow councils to protect services, and to tackle vital issues such as building more council homes, providing support for vulnerable children and giving dedicated council staff a fair pay rise.

“Labour councils across London have worked hard to protect frontline services. We have taken innovative approaches to redesigning services and cutting back-office costs, all so that we can make a difference on the issues that matter most to working people. But the Government must realise that the funding crisis facing local councils is only getting worse. The Chancellor must act in this week’s Budget.”

The councillors’ letter sets out three specific areas where the Chancellor should take action on Wednesday (22nd November) –

  • Local Government Pay – council employees have not seen a real terms increase in their salaries since 2008/09, and a fair pay settlement, which is fully funded by Central Government, is required.
  • Housing – whilst Labour-run councils continue to build new genuinely affordable homes, specific action is required to allow more council homes to be built. By lifting the borrowing cap on the Housing Revenue Account, councils could build thousands of new homes for social rent.
  • Children’s Social Care -  27 of 30 London boroughs have reported overspending in children’s social care budgets last year, as a national increase in the number of vulnerable young people is felt in the capital. The Local Government Association has estimated there will be a £2 billion national funding in children’s social care services by 2020. The total number of looked after children in the country reaching a new high of 72,670 in 2016/17.

The councillors’ calls have been backed by the GMB trade union, with London Regional Secretary, Warren Kenny, commenting:

"We fully support this call for additional funding to London Borough Councils and a lifting of the borrowing cap on the Housing Revenue Account.

“Nearly a quarter of the workforce has been cut in London Borough Councils since 2010 with over 57,000 jobs going. The bulk of these cuts have been in social care, health, leisure and libraries and doubly impact on our members as many of them live and work in London.

“Funding reductions have led directly to cuts in front line services impacting on the most vulnerable and those in need of support. Housing and children's social care are in crisis.

“GMB members working in local government are dedicated and loyal, doing the best they can in very difficult circumstances, but their pay has fallen significantly in real terms with many having to rely on benefits to get by. We want to see this Government fund a proper pay increase for local government workers in 2018.

“The time has come to end austerity measures, stop the cuts and begin funding our councils properly."

The councillors have also called for local councils to retain the full receipts of Right to Buy sales without restrictions, if the regrettable policy of Right to Buy is to persist; and to stop the planned forced sale of ‘high value’ void council homes.  

The letter also notes that London accommodates around 45 per cent of the Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) in the UK – young people who are often fleeing horrendous circumstances. However, Government funding only covers 50 per cent of cost of supporting these young people, and there are no financial resources to support UASCs when they reach the age of 18, despite local authorities remaining responsible for them until they are 25. The councillors have called for Central Government to both provide full funding to local authorities to support UASCs and to extend this support to the age of 25.

The Labour councillors have come together through the campaign group ‘Red Lines’, which brings together Labour councillors in London to stand up for Londoners against damaging Tory government cuts.

The following councillors have signed the letter - 

Cllr Andy Hull, London Borough of Islington

Cllr Fiona Colley, London Borough of Southwark

Cllr Andy Gibbons, London Borough of Wandsworth

Cllr Margaret McLennan, London Borough of Brent

Cllr Robert Atkinson, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Cllr Adam Swersky, London Borough of Harrow

Cllr Richard Olszewski, London Borough of Camden

Cllr Dominic Twomey, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

Cllr Kevin Bonavia, London Borough of Lewisham

Cllr Angela Wilkins, London Borough of Bromley

Cllr David Boothroyd, London Borough of Westminster

Cllr Rebecca Rennison, London Borough of Hackney

Cllr Mark Allison, London Borough of Merton

Cllr Alan Deadman, London Borough of Bexley

Cllr Dino Lemonides, London Borough of Enfield

Cllr Barry Rawlings, London Borough of Barnet

Cllr Kam Rai, London Borough of Redbridge

Cllr Denise Hyland, Royal Borough of Greenwich

Cllr Imogen Walker, London Borough of Lambeth

Cllr Clare Coghill, London Borough of Waltham Forest

Cllr Jason Arthur, London Borough of Haringey

Cllr David Edgar, Tower Hamlets London Borough Council


Government's council cuts hit NHS

NEW FIGURES SHOW THAT GOVERNMENT CUTS TO LONDON COUNCILS

ARE PUSHING THE NHS IN THE CAPITAL TO THE BRINK

In the week that councils across the capital set their budgets, London’s Labour councillors are warning of a £750 million black hole in social care funding that is pushing the NHS to the brink.

Central government funding for local councils has been slashed. In the decade from 2010, government funding for councils will have fallen by 70 per cent. The most deprived areas of the country have been hit hardest. London, with massive government cuts to its police service, schools and councils, is being bled dry.

The impact of government cuts is increasingly clear on social care and the NHS. New figures from NHS England show that the number of NHS bed-days lost to delayed transfers of care in the capital has hit a record high. In December, 16,000 bed-days were lost, up from 11,000 in December 2012. The rise in delayed discharges has been driven by patients who cannot be discharged because they are awaiting a placement in a residential home or a nursing home or waiting for a care package. This accounted for 7,000 bed-days in December 2016, double the number five years earlier. The growing challenge of delayed transfers of care was portrayed in the recent reality TV series, Hospital, which was set in London.

As a result of the savage government cuts to council funding, the vast majority of London boroughs are being forced to raise council tax to protect vital public services. But even if every borough implemented the government’s adult social care precept in full and raised council tax by 1.99 per cent in each of the next three years, a black hole of over £750 million would still remain in council finances to pay for adult social care in the capital by 2020.

There is a growing national consensus about the need for more funding for adult social care. Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, recently highlighted the impact of cuts to social care on the NHS, saying, “If there were to be any extra money available any time soon, then in my opinion social care should be at the front of the queue”.

Cllr Andy Hull, Chair of the Red Lines campaign group and Executive Member for Finance at the London Borough of Islington, said:

“The government is shifting the cost of caring for older, disabled and vulnerable people onto council taxpayers, leaving London local authorities facing a financial black hole. We warned last year of the widening funding gap, but we have not seen any serious action by the government to plug it. This government failure is now having a damaging impact on the NHS”.

“The government’s social care precept is a sticking plaster on a haemorrhage. Even when the precept is applied in full, with hard-pressed council taxpayers footing the bill, there remains a £750 million black hole in resources to pay for adult social care in London by 2020. The Chancellor must use his Budget next month to announce an urgent review of adult social care funding and give local councils the resources they need to support their residents.”  

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, said:

“Government cuts to social care funding are a double whammy. They are hitting council taxpayers in the pocket, and NHS patients are paying the price. Labour councils are working hard to keep services running but relentless financial pressure from the Government is making their job impossible. Ministers know that the money available won’t meet the needs of everyone looking for social care, but it’s not right that some areas like Surrey get special treatment while others lose out. The Government are creating a two tier system. This is a national problem of the government’s making and it demands a national response.”  

NOTES - 

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  • London’s population of older people is set to rise by more than 6 per cent between now and 2020.
  • Around 175,000 Londoners are in receipt of adult social care services from local councils this year, with the number set to increase to over 180,000 by 2020.
  • London councils combined spent £2.2 billion on adult social care over the last year, which represents over a third of all their spending. Some boroughs spent as much as 43 per cent of their budgets on providing care and support for older and vulnerable residents.
  • The Local Government Association has observed that, even after full application of both the government’s adult social care precept and the Better Care Fund, there will be a national funding gap for adult social care of £2.6 billion.
  • The Government’s separate ‘Adult Social Care Support Grant’ will also not address the funding shortage facing London councils, as funding for the £241 million national scheme is taken from top-slicing the New Homes Bonus budget, meaning London is actually a net loser in funding by around £11 million in 2017/18.

Labour councils say "no" to Tenant Tax

15 Labour councils in London have confirmed they will not implement the Tory Government's Tenant Tax.

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On 21st November the Housing Minister announced that the Tenant Tax (Pay to Stay) would no longer be compulsory for local councils to implement.

Today, 15 Labour Housing Leads from across London councils have co-signed a letter to the Evening Standard confirming they will not implement the Tenant Tax. 

The Tenant Tax was part of the Housing and Planning Act 2016, and would have seen council tenants in households earning £40,000 or more in London charged an extra 15% tax on income over that threshold.

Labour councillors from across London came together to campaign against the Tenant Tax, including writing directly to the Housing Minister with stories from real Londoners who would have been affected by the Tenant Tax.

Joint Letter from Labour Housing Leads in London - 

Working people should not be forced to pay more tax simply because they are council tenants. That is what the Government’s Tenant Tax (Pay to Stay) proposed to do.

We welcome the announcement by the Housing Minister that this policy will no longer be compulsory, and thank him for listening to our concerns and those of real Londoners who would have been forced to pay 15% more tax.

As Housing Lead Members for Labour-run councils across London, we confirm that we will not impose the now voluntary Tenant Tax. We call on all other boroughs and housing associations to pledge to do likewise.

We remain deeply concerned and opposed to the Government’s plans to force councils to sell ‘high value’ council homes and to make people less secure in their homes by banning new lifetime tenancies for council tenants.

We hope to work with the Housing Minister further on rethinking these proposals.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Diarmaid Ward, London Borough of Islington

Cllr Averil Lekau, Royal Borough of Greenwich

Cllr Katherine Dunne, London Borough of Hounslow

Cllr Farah Hussain, London Borough of Redbridge

Cllr Sirajul Islam, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Cllr Glen Hearnden, London Borough of Harrow

Cllr Stephanie Cryan, London Borough of Southwark

Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, London Borough of Waltham Forest

Cllr Alison Butler, London Borough of Croydon

Cllr Matthew Bennett, London Borough of Lambeth

Cllr Ken Clark, London Borough of Newham

Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, London Borough of Hackney

Cllr Pat Callaghan, London Borough of Camden

Cllr Damien Egan, London Borough of Lewisham

Cllr Ahmet Oykener, London Borough of Enfield 

Pictured - Labour councillors at the Axe the Act demonstration on Wednesday 23rd November 2016. 


Tory cuts hit London hard

Tories hit London hard whilst protecting their own areas says Sadiq Khan MP

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In the week councils across London set their budgets, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, has warned that unprecedented and unfair cuts in funding from the Tory Government will hit local services and the most deprived communities in London hardest, whilst wealthier areas are protected.

Government funding for councils has been cut by 40 per cent since 2010 with poorer areas hit hardest. The Government recently announced £300m funding for councils but a staggering 83 per cent of this funding will go to Conservative controlled authorities. Surrey and Hampshire will receive £43 million, whilst London gets only £28 million. Of the £28 million given to London, £16.8 million went to Tory controlled boroughs, compared to just £3.3 million to Labour controlled boroughs. The Tories are protecting their own areas whilst slashing funding for London. It shows Tory claims that “we are all in this together” to be hollow and cynical.

Most London Boroughs are having to raise council tax next year in order to offset some of the funding lost due to Government cuts. However, even if London Boroughs increased council tax by the maximum allowed, it will not come close to making up for the scale of cuts in Government funding. With councils bound by law to set balanced budgets, the scale of the cuts to councils mean most areas will have to both increase council tax and reduce spending. Government cuts mean Londoners will face both higher council tax and cuts to local services.

Tory cuts to councils risk serious consequences for London. Independent research shows planned cuts to council funding will lead to a £1.7bn black hole in social care funding by 2020 which will hit the most vulnerable and undermine our NHS. Other much-valued local services will inevitably be hit too; from libraries and leisure centres to street-sweeping and parks.

Even in tough times, Labour is making a difference for communities across London. Southwark is introducing free gyms and swims for all residents to encourage healthy living. Lewisham are tackling in-work poverty through a business rate discount for employers who commit to paying the Living Wage. Islington has committed to spending an additional £500k on additional targeted support and mentoring to help young people most at risk of turning to gangs and crime. Harrow has been awarded the ‘best small business friendly’ Borough in London for its work with local employers to create apprenticeships and training for residents.

Sadiq Khan, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of London said;

“The Tories are hammering local services in London – and the capital is being hit worse than any other part of the country. And the poorest areas of London are suffering the most. I was a Councillor for twelve years - I know the crucial difference that local services can make to Londoners lives. Londoners need a Mayor who will stand up for the capital and work alongside local councillors to fight for a fairer deal for London.”

Steve Reed MP, Shadow Minister for Local Government said;

“While the Tories talk about ‘One Nation’, they are hitting the poorest hardest. At the same time they are blatantly misusing public funds by giving pre-election bungs to their own areas. As a former leader of a London Borough, I am deeply concerned by the scale of the Tory cuts inflicted on councils across our city. The Tories need to think again. If they don’t, Londoners will get the chance to give their verdict in May.”

Heather Wakefield, Head of Local Government at UNISON said;

"The Government's funding cuts to local government are doing real damage to councils and communities in London and across the country. Tens of thousands of local government jobs have been lost across London, and if these cuts continue, many more will go."