Published: Monday, 13th November 2023
Earlier this year, on February 10, we invited signatures on an open letter calling for fairer funding.
Unfortunately, nine months later we remain concerned and frustrated by the persistent cuts to Local Government funding. In Royal Greenwich alone, our funding has been cut by £150 million in real terms compared to 2010.
This is a 53% drop. Demand for our services has not dropped 53%. In fact, we are experiencing more demand on our services due to the cost of living crisis and a rise in inflation causing more residents than ever to reach out for support.
To provide exactly the same services as we did last year, we are paying £11million more because of inflation and contract price increases. Right off the bat, we are £11million down. That’s without surging demand for help due to a growing population – people living longer, people moving to our borough - and an increased complexity of needs in both adults and children.
We provide numerous services, from free holiday meals for kids and providing care for the elderly to funding libraries and popular leisure centres. We cannot be put in a position where, due to decisions made by this and preceding governments, we are having to consider what services we have to cut. This is not right.
Compounding this issue, we've had to find money to put roofs over residents' heads during times of crisis. With homelessness at record levels, we have had to spend an extra £19million on sourcing temporary accommodation. As we continue to manage the budgets we do have, we ask that government works to address years of austerity across the country. We alongside hundreds of our residents' who have signed our letter demand change and a more equitable future for our borough and its communities.
Councillor Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich
You still have the chance to read and sign our letter.