Lewisham council has announced its spending plans for the next year, including a rise in council tax and a charge to fund social care.
This comes after a top Lewisham councillor warned of three-year cuts of £85m last year. Council tax is due to rise by 1.99 per cent and a three per cent ‘precept’ charge to social care.
Speaking on behalf of Lewisham Labour at the council budget meeting on February 22, councillor Alan Hall said: “There is a social care crisis in this country.”
Cllr Hall continued: “Coupled with the NHS STP – Slash, Trash and Privatise plan – across South East London, social care will be at least £230 million short. This will increase pressures on the local NHS. This is real money and does affect patients.”
Lewisham hospital declared black alert earlier this year as the NHS crisis worsened.
The government has cut Lewisham’s funding by 63 per cent over the past 10 years.
Councillor Kevin Bonavia, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “In the face of yet another year of cuts from the Government, we are working around the clock to build a Lewisham that is better and fairer for all.”
Bonavia went on to say: “We will continue to urge the Government not to simply rely on councils to increase council tax, but to provide fairer funding for councils and the vital services that our residents rely on, particularly adult social care.”