Lewisham Council is “not yet at financial breaking point” despite needing to cut £30m from its services over the next two years.

This come as the council proposes £20.8m worth of budget cuts – which does not include the £17.4m overspend reported for July 2018, £15.6m of which related to an overspend on children’s services.

In a statement, the council said it was experiencing significant pressure for its services, with the number of children in care increasing by five per cent in the last year alone.

“Lewisham Council is not yet at financial breaking point like other councils but the Government has cut its funding by 60 per cent since 2010, this means that by 2020 the council will have lost £190 million per year,” it said.

“The council has seen a marked increase in demand for services including children’s social care as cuts to preventative services like youth work and Sure Start centres start to be felt.”

The council said it was keeping Lewisham library open, although the hub libraries will see a reduction in staffed hours – saving the council £450,000.

The community services directorate will see an £7m reduction, with the council also proposing to cut the £1m grant funding for culture and community services.

Homelessness provision will be reduced by £1.1m between 2019 and 2021 – 20 per cent of its total budget.

Other services to be cut include air quality funding, which will see a reduction of £60,000, as well as £300,000 cut from housing advice and support.

Lewisham Mayor Damien Egan said: “When I became a councillor eight years ago, none of us ever imagined that our budgets would be continuously slashed by the Government so dramatically.

“Since 2010 we have had to make £165 million cuts. Lewisham is now being forced to cut £30 million but we have only been able to find £21 million of cuts. We are having to plug the gap with millions from our reserves.”

Lewisham Council cabinet member for finance Cllr Amanda de Ryk has called on residents to join the Save Lewisham Services campaign, and said the council has already made a number of changes to reduce costs.

“We are facing the perfect storm – cuts to our budgets coupled with a greater need for public services in Lewisham and a growing population.  We’ve already shared services, moved services online and nearly halved the number of council staff to save money.

“Help get Lewisham’s voice heard and join our campaign to Save Lewisham Services.”

The proposals will go through the council’s six select committees and its overview and scrutiny committee before Lewisham’s mayor and cabinet on November 21.

The budget for next year 2019/20 will be set at a meeting of the council in February.

To find out more about the Save Lewisham Services campaign, visit www.lewisham.gov.uk/savelewishamservices.