Camden Council leader hits out at George Osborne over spending cuts
- Credit: Archant
The leader at Camden Council has warned that the Chancellor’s comprehensive spending review may leave the authority struggling to carry out essential duties and place vulnerable residents at risk.
Despite u-turns by George Osborne on working tax credits and police funding – which may have appeased many anxious voters – council leader Sarah Hayward warned funding for local government will take a massive hit.
In an initial response statement, the Labour councillor said: “Although it is still too early to understand the full impact of today’s announcement, we know there is not a lot of good news for our borough.
“In our response to the Spending Review consultation in September, we laid out a number of sensible suggestions to the government to reduce the unfair burden on local services, but Camden is still to be placed under huge financial pressure.
“But, despite reducing our budget by many millions of pounds, we are being left with little breathing space.
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“It is clear that Government is still failing to understand the impact that further burdens could have on residents, including vulnerable people.”
Camden saw its funding cut by £93 million between 2011/12 and 2014/15, and now has to deliver £75 million of savings by 2017/18.
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By 2017/18, the authority’s funding from the government will have been slashed in half and Camden will have reduced its budget by more than £168 million.
The government has also announced that councils must reduce social housing rents by one per cent.
Camden said this will leave a £69 million hole in its ring-fenced Housing Revenue Account (HRA) budget by 2020, which officials claim will threaten their ability to carry out planned enhancement and repair work.