The BBC reports that London’s councils have told the government they need an extra £526 million in funding to balance the books. Unless the government announces additional funding, they will collectively need to make £1.4 billion of cuts and savings over the next three years, with council tax increases and one-off emergency payments not sustainable solutions.
The BBC looked at examples of councils struggling with increased demand for services. Camden Council saw the cost of providing social care jump more than £11 million last year, while a 2 per cent increase in council tax reserved for social care raised just £4.8 million. Barnet Council needs to find savings of £67 million over three years, while Southwark Council, the country’s biggest social landlord, saw 22,000 people use its drop-in housing service last year.
It’s clear that local government and its vital services will go under unless government policy is reversed.