London

Economic slowdown: Six London councils making cuts

  • 2 March 2011
  • From the section London

More councils across London have finalised plans to cut tens of millions of pounds from their budgets.

Lewisham Council agreed to cut £33m to take its budget for 2011-12 to £281m while Kingston Council agreed to reduce its budget by £13.4m to £126m.

Barnet Council has signed off plans to cut £29.1m reducing its 2011-12 budget to £255m.

Meanwhile, Ealing Council has agreed to make £22.4m cuts in 2011-12, bringing its budget to £275m.

Richmond Council approved £33m cuts over four years, while Hounslow was due to have a full council vote on proposed budgets cuts.

In Lewisham, a total of 343 jobs are to be lost - some of which went last year. The rest were agreed on Tuesday.

Roles will be cut in the regeneration, customer services and children and young people departments.

In total the Labour-run council employs 3,437 people, not counting school staff.

Lewisham Council held the meeting early in the day, which the council claimed was on the advice of police.

Mock funeral

But some protesters held a mock funeral for services to be lost as a result of the cuts.

There has been anger over plans to close Blackheath, Crofton Park, Grove Park, New Cross and Sydenham libraries.

Image caption Protests at the savings are expected across London

Conservative-run Barnet Council approved a plan to save £53.4m over three years, with £29.1m to be saved in 2011-12, reducing the net budget for the year to £255m.

About 350 posts out of 3,500 will go.

Libraries, nursing homes and day centres are among the services which will be hit.

Kingston Council said it had to make savings of more than £22m by 2012-13.

Some 200 jobs are to be cut across a range of departments in the Liberal Democrat-run council, from a total staff of 4,500, including school staff.

Disability campaigners plan to protest against an increase in charges for people who use home care services.

Ealing councillors have agreed to cut £55m over three years.

A total of £22.4m will be saved in 2011-12, bringing its budget for that year to £275m.

Job cuts have been agreed to 300 posts, although the Labour-run council claims it is also creating 119 new jobs.

The council says it is likely that even more posts will be go over the next three years.

Meanwhile Conservative-run Richmond-upon-Thames voted to save £33m. Its total budget for this year is £146m.

Up to 170 posts will be cut out of a permanent staff of 1,615, not including school staff.

Police officers were on standby as councillors debated the budget, amid fears of protests. Politicians debated closing a day centre.

Hounslow Council voted to cut £60m from its spending over four years.

The Labour-run council's budget for 2011-12 will be £186m, after cuts worth £18m were approved.

Grants to voluntary organisations would be reduced, youth services scaled back and maintenance of parks cut down.

The council has lost 125 jobs since March 2010, bringing its total number of employees to 2,864.

Local authorities face an average 9.9% cut in government formula grant funding in 2011-12.

Tuesday's meetings will bring the total number of councils to have finalised budget cuts in London to 21.

London council cuts finalised so far should mean at least 6,340 people losing their jobs.

However the plans stand to save the public purse almost £1bn over three years.

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