Camden Council facing biggest financial challenge in a generation

Doom and gloom ahead as nation tackles budgetry black hole

COUNCIL bosses in Camden are gearing up to tackle the biggest financial challenge in over a generation as the nation enters an era of unprecedented cuts.

They are calling on the community to unite together in the face of doom and gloom and have launched a new webpage with a guide to the scale of the financial crisis.

The council faces two major challenges - it needs to make savings on its annual spending which includes money spent on employees, supplies and utilities and it also needs to meet the cost of capital investments which is money used to improve the infrastructure spent on roads, schools and buildings.

More than 60 per cent of Camden’s budget comes from the government and only nine per cent comes from council tax. Cuts will mean a shortfall of around �80 to �100 million over the next three years.

Leader of the council Cllr Nash Ali said: “We are having to fundamentally rethink the way Camden delivers services. We are working to keep council tax as low as possible and looking at where services can be reorganised to support those in greatest need.

“However, we have to face reality, the nature of government cuts means there will be an impact on the services people receive. We want everyone to understand the grim financial picture we face and work with us to tackle the challenges and the changes ahead.”

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Council chiefs are working to support those greatest in need and in a bid to protect services it will look at raising some fees and charges.

They are also undertaking a review of all the council’s property to see what can be sold to raise funds for vital repairs to schools and houses.

Camden has pledged to talk and listen to residents about how best to tackle the crisis and it will be sharing options and choices about services soon.

Finance boss Cllr Theo Blackwell said: “The financial outlook for Camden is the most challenging in over a generation. We will respond pragmatically to the big events that lie ahead. It will not limit our ability to be proactive and move forward with the big discussions about shared services and working in partnership with other organisations.”

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