Lewisham Council reveals £28.3m cuts proposals

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

LEWISHAM Council has published proposals to make cuts across three years totalling £28.3m - and it's bad news for just about everyone.

The proposals, which are being given to select committees for feedback ahead of a final decision next year, would see £14.1m slashed from the 2013/14 budget, £13.3m cut the following year and a final £900,000 in 2015/16.

They include withdrawing the discretionary Freedom Pass for 842 disabled and mentally ill people in the borough, increasing bereavement charges and a drastic reduction in street sweeping from once a week to just once each month.

The community services directorate would be the biggest loser, with a £9,618,000 cut to its budget over the three years.

The children and young people department would also see a big cut, losing £8,126,000.

Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock said: "These cuts are needed because the government has decided to single out local government to carry a huge part of the burden of reducing the deficit."

He claimed the council had tried to protect vulnerable people, but added: "We're at a stage where none of these things are pleasant or what we'd choose to do."

Lewisham has already reduced its budget by £53m since 2010 but, with a government announcement on local authority funding due later this year, he warned there could be more to come.

He said: "It could get a whole lot worse. It could also get a whole lot better, but I'm not putting money on that."

A Lewisham Council spokesman said: "We are developing proposals for that budget and these will be scrutinised by councillors in the coming weeks.

"We will consult service users as well as our staff and other stakeholders on specific proposals where that is appropriate.

"No decisions have been taken. The mayor will be looking at proposals at the meeting of Mayor and Cabinet in January before they are put to council.”

Proposals include...

A review of school meal prices. SAVING - £150,000.

Slashing Local Assemblies budget from £337,500 to £150,000. SAVING - 187,500.

Reduced funding for residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation, along with team budget. SAVING - £207,000.

Downsizing the community safety service for victims of anti-social behaviour and domestic violence. SAVING: £270,000.

Cuts to Supporting People budget which provides support to vulnerable people and helps prevent homelessness. SAVING: £1,700,000.

Removing services from 'underused' Horizones and Wesley Halls day care centres, plus service remodelling. SAVING 1,000,000.

Increasing bereavement services fees above inflation. SAVING: £109,000.

Reduce sweeping of all residential roads to a minimum of once a month rather than weekly. SAVING: £750,000.

Charging £10 for every Blue Badge issued. SAVING: £12,000.

Withdrawing discretionary Freedom Passes. SAVING: £200,000.

To see the full list of cuts visit Lewisham Council's website at http://bit.ly/XdxGrq

Comments (7)

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4:31pm Mon 15 Oct 12

illhavemysay says...

if the unions would allow cuts to pay and pensions of the overpaid top dogs there would be no need for this. there is a lot of waste and over staffing in councils that could be cut back but unions would not allow this because it keeps members for them and votes for labour, they only allow cut backs on things that hurt people that really need services because it looks bad on the goverment.
if the unions would allow cuts to pay and pensions of the overpaid top dogs there would be no need for this. there is a lot of waste and over staffing in councils that could be cut back but unions would not allow this because it keeps members for them and votes for labour, they only allow cut backs on things that hurt people that really need services because it looks bad on the goverment. illhavemysay
  • Score: -1

9:18am Tue 16 Oct 12

longshanks2 says...

Why not get rid of some of the over paid staff, try getting help with housing, you have to go through about 5/6 people and you still don't get answers, don't cut services cut staff.
Why not get rid of some of the over paid staff, try getting help with housing, you have to go through about 5/6 people and you still don't get answers, don't cut services cut staff. longshanks2
  • Score: -1

10:31am Tue 16 Oct 12

goldenbroomboy says...

illhavemysay wrote:
if the unions would allow cuts to pay and pensions of the overpaid top dogs there would be no need for this. there is a lot of waste and over staffing in councils that could be cut back but unions would not allow this because it keeps members for them and votes for labour, they only allow cut backs on things that hurt people that really need services because it looks bad on the goverment.
"Top Dogs" are not usually union members! It is a matter of honouring a contract of employment.
[quote][p][bold]illhavemysay[/bold] wrote: if the unions would allow cuts to pay and pensions of the overpaid top dogs there would be no need for this. there is a lot of waste and over staffing in councils that could be cut back but unions would not allow this because it keeps members for them and votes for labour, they only allow cut backs on things that hurt people that really need services because it looks bad on the goverment.[/p][/quote]"Top Dogs" are not usually union members! It is a matter of honouring a contract of employment. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 1

11:06am Tue 16 Oct 12

illhavemysay says...

goldenbroomboy wrote:
illhavemysay wrote:
if the unions would allow cuts to pay and pensions of the overpaid top dogs there would be no need for this. there is a lot of waste and over staffing in councils that could be cut back but unions would not allow this because it keeps members for them and votes for labour, they only allow cut backs on things that hurt people that really need services because it looks bad on the goverment.
"Top Dogs" are not usually union members! It is a matter of honouring a contract of employment.
Top dogs may not be union members but the Unions do not make a fuss about their pay and conditions, and they in turn over staff the councils to benefit the unions
[quote][p][bold]goldenbroomboy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]illhavemysay[/bold] wrote: if the unions would allow cuts to pay and pensions of the overpaid top dogs there would be no need for this. there is a lot of waste and over staffing in councils that could be cut back but unions would not allow this because it keeps members for them and votes for labour, they only allow cut backs on things that hurt people that really need services because it looks bad on the goverment.[/p][/quote]"Top Dogs" are not usually union members! It is a matter of honouring a contract of employment.[/p][/quote]Top dogs may not be union members but the Unions do not make a fuss about their pay and conditions, and they in turn over staff the councils to benefit the unions illhavemysay
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Tue 16 Oct 12

johnfirewall says...

Of course they're not going to cut any of the waste. That would be a missed opportunity to blame the government while doing themselves out of their own perks. A win-win of self interest.
Of course they're not going to cut any of the waste. That would be a missed opportunity to blame the government while doing themselves out of their own perks. A win-win of self interest. johnfirewall
  • Score: 0

9:19am Wed 17 Oct 12

Indigenous UK Pensioner says...

PEnsioners are been hit with more cuts in my country but the goverment has money f or there pet politically projects that has nothing to do with indigenous population in my country.Thank you.
PEnsioners are been hit with more cuts in my country but the goverment has money f or there pet politically projects that has nothing to do with indigenous population in my country.Thank you. Indigenous UK Pensioner
  • Score: -1

11:50pm Wed 17 Oct 12

treesrgreen says...

I hope they are also going to call an end to the dreadful annual Lewisham People's Day? I dread to think how much this event costs each year, especially with the increased amount of security and policing needed each year thanks to the undesirables and scum who go along with the sole intention of fighting, robbery and anti-social behaviour. This dreadful event is a blight on the local neighbourhood, and as someone who is directly affected by it I hope it is done away with.

However, if it continues perhaps I should make a Freedom of Information application to see just how much money the council spends each year paying for this. That will make interesting reading!!!
I hope they are also going to call an end to the dreadful annual Lewisham People's Day? I dread to think how much this event costs each year, especially with the increased amount of security and policing needed each year thanks to the undesirables and scum who go along with the sole intention of fighting, robbery and anti-social behaviour. This dreadful event is a blight on the local neighbourhood, and as someone who is directly affected by it I hope it is done away with. However, if it continues perhaps I should make a Freedom of Information application to see just how much money the council spends each year paying for this. That will make interesting reading!!! treesrgreen
  • Score: -1

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