Published: Thursday, 31st October 2019

Last night, the Council agreed its Treasury Management mid-year update

Cllr Christine Grice, Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, said:

“After almost ten years of cuts, the amount of money this council receives from government has already reduced by over £125million.

So far, we have largely managed to protect residents from the full effects of austerity by making our back office processes more efficient, moving services online and reducing the number of people we employ. We’ve also had to put up council tax rates and are having to consider increasing charges for certain social care services. The Government has said that any extra money for adult social care would come from another council tax precept, which could mean asking residents to pay up to 4% more, whilst Brexit means every day goods and services could get more expensive.

Even so, increasing costs and demands mean that our projections show that, between now and April 2024, the difference between what we will need to spend on vital services and the amount of money we will have could be as much as £57 million.

We are developing a new financial strategy, called Building a Fairer Greenwich, with a number of cross cutting work streams to help us meet the funding challenges. It will help us be more efficient, increase our income and protect services for the most vulnerable residents. But it’s unlikely that it will plug a £57million gap. Whatever the Government looks like after the general election, they have to seriously invest in local authorities and start to undo the decade of austerity which has decimated our public services.”