Government funding cuts will affect frontline services, Redbridge Council warns

Wes Streeting, deputy leader of the Redbridge Labour Group and cabinet member for health wellbeing

Wes Streeting, deputy leader of the Redbridge Labour Group and cabinet member for health wellbeing - Credit: Archant

Funding cuts to councils will have an impact on frontline services, the deputy leader of Redbridge Council has warned.

The government announced last week its funding for councils in England would be cut by 8.8 per cent next year.

Announcing the provisional local government finance settlement on Thursday, Department for Local Government and Communities minister Kris Hopkins said authorities would see an average fall of 1.8pc in their overall spending power, taking into account business rates and other resources.

He said councils “should be able to deliver sensible savings while protecting frontline services”.

But Cllr Wes Streeting said Redbridge Council was already experiencing “eye-watering” levels of cuts.

He said: “By the end of this decade we won’t have the money to do everything the council normally does like bin collections.

“It’s time politicians in Westminster understood the impact of local government cuts on frontline services.”

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If approved in February, the latest slash will mean there has been a 40pc drop in government funding for councils since 2010.

The authority has said it needs to save £70 million from its budget over the next four years, and is running a public consultation – Redbridge Conversation – asking residents what services they want to protect.

Mr Hopkins said no council would face a loss of more than 6.4pc, but the Local Government Association (LGA), which represents councils, said authorities face a “huge financial challenge”.

LGA chairman Cllr David Sparks said: “Councils have spent the past four years finding billions of pounds worth of savings, while working hard to protect the services upon which people rely. But those same efficiency savings cannot be made again.

“We cannot pretend that this will not have an impact on local government’s ability to improve people’s quality of life and support local businesses.”