Over the past weeks, Mayor Jules Pipe has been using every opportunity to urge the Coalition Government not to make devastating cuts to Hackney. Councils were told that their funding will be cut by 27% between now and 2015 and Hackney Council had been planning to make savings of £26m in 2011-12 which would have meant the Council could have coped next year without any reductions to frontline services.
But then it emerged that the cuts next year could be far worse - over £50m in one year, and Mayor Pipe has been lobbying the Secretary of State for Local Government – Eric Pickles – urging him to think again over the severity of the cuts.
The Local Government Finance settlement was published yesterday and Hackney Council is currently going through the detail to work out exactly what the impact will be on local services. At first glance, it does look like government ministers have listened to some of the concerns about frontloading the cuts – but this is still a devastating settlement for local government and if you look at the figures across London, it is clear that the poorest boroughs are the worst hit:
Highest cuts to "revenue spending power":
LB Hackney 8.9%
LB Hackney 8.9%
LB Tower Hamlets 8.9%
LB Newham 8.9%
Lowest cuts to "revenue spending power":
This is a hugely disproportionate hit on areas which have more people living in poverty, and therefore more reliant on the services that councils provide. The scale of cuts in the local government settlement is unprecedented.
We will keep you updated as soon as we know more. There is also information on Hackney's website here.