Ealing Council is expecting to have to make savings of £28 million in one of the “most difficult years” it’s faced, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at the council’s cabinet meeting, finance chief Bassam Mahfouz made a plea to the national government to reimburse the council’s £15 million spent on tackling the pandemic in the borough, which ministers pledged to repay at the beginning of the crisis.
He told colleagues that a £28 million shortfall will need to be plugged for the 2021/22 financial year.
Cllr Mahfouz said: “As this report pulls out, we remain in a position where the government continues to ask more of us but won’t keep its simple promise that it made right at the start of this crisis, to pay the Covid-19 bill, that we and Ealing residents will be faced with at the end of the crisis.
“Before the pandemic we were on a strong footing thanks to our Future Ealing work but now we’re facing an unpaid bill of circa £15m. Against that backdrop of 64p in the pound that we had cut in the last 10 years by the same government.
“That leaves us with I can only describe a gargantuan target of possibly £28m worth of savings to find for the next financial year, as well as plugging the sizeable gap that we have this year.”