East London boroughs among the worst affected after public spending announcement

Photo:Katie Gibbons

Boroughs along the east London line will be among some of the hardest hit places in the UK to be affected by coalition government plans to cut funding to local councils.

On average, the four boroughs along the east London line have been hit by reductions in spending of 7.33 per cent per year.

The government yesterday announced that core funding cuts of up to 9.9 per cent could be made during 2011, with an aim to slash 28 per cent of spending over the next four years.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced that council spending would be reduced by an average of 4.4 per cent with no local authority having to cut more than 8.9 per cent.

But despite a government promise to protect the ‘poorest and most vulnerable areas’, Hackney and Tower Hamlets are having their budgets reduced by 8.9 percent.

Lewisham will have to make cuts of 6.49 per cent and Croydon 5.04 per cent.

Hackney Major and Chair of London Councils, Jules Pipe, said: “The scale of these reductions is so large that no combination of [savings will] protect the services.”

The London Councils has also stated that the cuts to London’s formula grant will be a ‘serious blow’ to the city’s councils.

The fairness of the settlement has also been called into question as councils in Surrey and Buckingham will only be making savings of 1 per cent.

The Local Government Association has stated that the funding shortfall will amount to £6.5bn.

Chairman of the LGA, Margaret Eaton, said that all “councils now face incredibly tough choices”.

The new legislation will enable councils to purchase local assets, veto excessive council taxes and even trigger referendums on specific issues.

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