London

London cuts: Which council services should be stopped?

street sweeper Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Street cleaning services could be cut back in a bid to save money across London

What do you expect your council to do for you?

Sweep your roads? Keep you parks clean and tidy? Run your libraries?

Councils across London are warning they may no longer be able to do those things to the same level if 30% cuts are imposed on them in the Chancellor's spending review later this week.

The Chair of London Councils Jules Pipe says the capital's boroughs are running out of services to cut after seeing their government grant halved in real terms over past five years.

Risk of resentment

Councils are required by law to provide adult social care and children's services. In London that means the bulk of a council's spending - between 70-80% of its budget - is spent on less than 10% of the population. And if the government ring fences those two areas councils can only cut services in other areas that the majority of council tax payers access.

Mr Pipe explained: "If you ring fence children's social care and adults social care it's virtually everything else that councils do.

The rubbish would still be collected as that's a statutory service. But the streets wouldn't be cleaned so much, leisure centres, parks, all those things that most of the population use."

And if you're paying your council tax, but not getting as much out of it there could be repercussions according to Jules Pipe.

He said: "There's a danger of taxpayers being understandably resentful if all the general day to day services they enjoy, nice parks, clean streets, ends up being undermined and those services get worse because that's the only place councils can take money from."

But the Department for Communities and Local Government says it is right that councils play their part in dealing with the deficit and says they can use their revenue reserves to carry on delivering services.

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