Council Cuts: Croydon And Lewisham Work Out Their Budgets

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 95 months ago
Council Cuts: Croydon And Lewisham Work Out Their Budgets

Councils are starting to set their budgets and deciding where, following the cut in government grants, the axe will fall. Croydon is cutting £1.35m each from youth services and arts services, £1.2m is going from the Sure Start budget after central government didn't protect it, and £1m is being taken out of the voluntary sector (cue much carping about the Big Society).

The budget didn't contain any proposed savings from closing libraries - something campaigners hope means the council has backed away from shutting the doors. This is good, but in the light of other cuts feels like a slightly hollow victory.

Moving northwards, in the wake of November's unrest outside the town hall, Lewisham Council decided to hold its latest budget meeting this morning and the next full council meeting at 10am on 1st March. They acted on police advice to switch to times when the majority of campaigners would be at work (apparently south east London protesters are well scary) - but this ignores the fact that many councillors also have these job things. The possibility that some wouldn't be able to quickly arrange time off work to provide proper scrutiny is quite worrying, a feeling shared by the council's Lib Dem leader Chris Maines (Lewisham's website is undergoing a server move at the moment, so we can't check the members of the budget committee).

From what we can gather from the Lewisham Anti Cuts Twitter feed, council tax is being frozen, residents' parking permits are doubling, and there's a lot of impassioned pleading to retain funding for young children's services in what is a deprived borough. At the time of writing, the meeting was still going on.

Photo by slh dave from the Londonist Flickr pool

Last Updated 17 February 2011