Monday’s census information represented a moment of truth for many London boroughs with the survey finally confirming what we have known for a long time: that the population of many Boroughs is growing much faster than those in Westminster think. The Councils we represent have seen above average increases in our population and as a result all have significantly higher populations than was previously projected and funded for.
This isn’t just a technical problem but a real world one that affects real people, as the funding we receive from the Government to provide the services our residents need is based on the incorrect projected figures, not on reality. Between us, we face a funding shortfall of almost £300 million each year as a result of these inadequate population estimates.
Having to deal with the massive cuts to our grants from Government has put huge stress on services in all our Boroughs. Not receiving the funding we are legitimately entitled to will only make this worse. Between us we are missing funding for over 300,000 residents – the equivalent of a large London Borough.
This ‘missing Borough’ means we have all had to make even deeper reductions to the services our residents rely upon than we would have otherwise had to.
As Council Leaders, elected Mayors and Group Leaders we call on the Government to ensure that we receive the funding that we are entitled to. Local Government funding must be based on reality, not fantasy.
Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council
Cllr Catherine West, Leader of Islington Council
Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney
Cllr Chris Robins, Leader of Waltham Forrest Council
Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham
Cllr Chris Roberts, Leader of Royal Borough of Greenwich
Cllr Claire Kober, Leader of Haringey Council
Cllr Jagdish Sharma MBE, Leader of Hounslow Council
Cllr Julian Bell, Leader of Ealing Council
Cllr Joshua Peck, Leader of Tower Hamlets Labour Group