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Lewisham Council's Mayor and cabinet to consider £85million of cuts
LEWISHAM Council’s cabinet members will consider proposals to make a further £85million of cuts over the next four years on Wednesday (DEC 18).
New savings of £16m are being proposed for 2014 to 2015 on top of £16.02m already agreed, which the council says is thanks to central government’s hard-hitting austerity policy.
It comes on top of £60m of cuts over three years agreed in 2010 plus £21.3m in budget cuts voted through by councillors last February.
Under the plans, the budget for community services would be slashed by £3,600,000 for 2014 to 2015 with adult social care cut by £2,500,000 by doubling up services with GPs.
While the drugs and alcohol rehab services would be cut by £300,000 and funds allocated for working with pupils playing truant from school would be reduced by £100,000.
Proposals to reduce the council’s rubbish and recycling bill by £270,000 for 2014 to 2015 include getting rid of one of nine rounds of recycling collection across the borough.
But free swims for under 16s and over 60s are set to remain by linking the programme with ring-fenced public health funding despite proposing £200,000 cuts in the leisure area.
The first raft of cuts will see £9.2m slashed with further proposals made after April following a series of reviews.
The proposals could see 21 council staff made redundant and eight vacant posts deleted.
Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock, said: "The council finds itself in a tough financial position and faces a major challenge to balance our books over the coming years.
"We have reduced our budget by £82m over the past three years by implementing major organisational and service changes.
"The government’s continuing austerity plan is hitting local councils hard.
"We now need to reduce our budget by a further £85m over the next four years.
"We will do everything we can to bring creativity and innovation to the way we do things, work collaboratively with other organisations and get the very best value out of the contracts we have to make the necessary reductions in our budget."
The Mayor and Cabinet meeting will take place at Lewisham Town Hall at 6pm ahead of next year's budget meeting at full council on February 26.
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