London Social Care Leaders warn Osborne about dangers of further cuts to local councils

I have united with Labour social care leads across London to warn the Chancellor George Osborne about the consequences of further cuts to Council budgets. In a joint letter to the Treasury, we have highlighted the difficulty Councils face in delivering essential services and also the knock on impact on the NHS if the Government’s planned cuts to local authorities go ahead.

The Government recently announced that funding to councils will be cut by 30 per cent over the next four years. With adult social care making up a third of Council budgets, there will inevitably be an impact on care services.

Adult Social Care lead members from London local authorities have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, telling him:

“A 30 per cent to councils over the next four years means, in all likelihood, a very significant impact on adult social care services. This puts at severe risk our ability to fund elderly residents who are supported in the community instead of occupying a hospital bed, which typically costs the public purse three times the amount.”

Examples of the services likely to be impacted in the letter include: In-home care for elderly residents such as help with bathing, respite services for carers and support for young people with disabilities as they become adults.

We also point out that the cuts to local authorities in the capital since 2010 have been greater than the national average, deepening our concern.

We also highlight the fact that cuts to adult social care threaten the supposedly protected NHS:

“The NHS is already experiencing an enormous amount of strain and with winter approaching, the pressure on GPs and emergency departments is already beginning to increase.

“As social care risks being stripped back to the barest of necessities, this will further undermine and increase strain on our much loved national institution.

“The health service will face an increased workload that only the substantial level of increases in health spending currently unavailable would be able to meet.”

The full list of signatories is:

Cllr Angie Bean                                   London Borough of Waltham Forest

Cllr Chris Best                                     London Borough of Lewisham

Cllr Janet Burgess                              London Borough of Islington

Cllr Alev Cazimoglu                            London Borough of Enfield

Cllr Stephanie Cryan                          London Borough of Southwark

Cllr David Gardner                              Royal Borough of Greenwich

Cllr Sally Gimson                                London Borough of Camden

Cllr Krupesh Hirani                              London Borough of Brent

Cllr Kamaljit Kaur                                London Borough of Hounslow

Cllr Vivienne Lukey                             London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

Cllr Caroline Cooper-Marbiah           London Borough of Merton

Cllr Jonathan McShane                      London Borough of Hackney

Cllr Mark Santos                                 London Borough of Redbridge

Cllr Hitesh Tailor                                 London Borough of Ealing ‎

Cllr Jackie Meldrum                           London Borough of Lambeth

Cllr Anne Whitehead                           London Borough of Harrow

Cllr Amy Whitelock-Gibbs ‎                 London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Cllr Louisa Woodley                            London Borough of Croydon

Cllr Maureen Worby                           London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

You can read the full letter here LINK

 

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Brent to be targeted again by Coalition Government

The BBC is reporting that Councils in England face a 10% cut in funding from central government as part of the coalition’s spending plans for 2015/16 – LINK

The article quotes a Local Government Association (LGA) estimate that a 10% cut in spending would mean an average council having to find another £30m of savings on top of existing cuts. As we know, Brent is usually disproportionately impacted from Coalition Government cuts – LINK

10% savings on top of the 30% cuts to Council Budgets will simply mean that in Brent, we will have to simply stop doing some things and make some unpalatable decisions.   Council Leaders including Cllr Muhammed Butt of Brent signed a statement agreeing that the cuts to local councils “simply cannot go on” – LINK

Furthermore, US President Barack Obama has rejected Osbornomics, saying that “we can’t simply cut our way to prosperity” LINK

Globally, the opposition against the Tory and Liberal Democrat approach is growing. But the approach from Nick Clegg and George Osborne and company is not changing.

I hope that the Brent’s three MPs Barry Gardiner, Sarah Teather and Glenda Jackson vote against this unfair budget on Wednesday.

Council funding redistribution

Spending power distribution

The graph above published in the Guardian shows the change in spending power in pounds per person, compared to the England average. It shows a redistribution in resources from Labour areas to Tory Councils. It is no surprise that Newcastle City Council has called for an independent method of funding allocation to local Councils to end political bias in Council funding from central Government.

Full Council meeting yesterday

Logo of Brent London Borough Council

Yesterday was the first reading of the Budget in the Brent Town Hall Council chamber.

There is a bit of a gloomy outlook with Brent having to make further cuts to the Budget as part of the wider £104 million that Brent has to make over the comprehensive spending review period.

Tory Liberal Councillors did their best to let the bankers off scot-free and set the blame on the previous Labour Government.

However, I spoke and made a contribution saying that regardless of whether you believe that the international banking crisis or the previous Labour Government and Gordon Brown is to blame for the country’s deficit and deficits of USA, Greece, Spain, Ireland, Germany, France and many more…. why don’t we think about Brent for a second.

Even if you believe that the cuts are necessary and that the debt should be tackled within one Parliament, is it fair that Brent Council has to make cuts in the region of 27-28% of our controllable budget whilst other Councils are getting more money?

How can the Brent Tory Liberals defend Brent losing out on resources while other areas are having Budget increases?

I have blogged about this before LINK.

Why should Brent have to cut more than others? If Tory Liberal Councillors do blame Labour for creating the deficit and the Coalition Government are holier than thou, are they still defending the level of cuts to Brent compared to others and supporting the damage made to Brent while other Councils are being given more money?