Lewisham’s 2019/2020 budget has been agreed with nearly £8m of cuts to  services.

Cuts to council funding was described as a “human tragedy” by one councillor.

Lewisham Council needs to cut £30 million by 2021 but has only found £21 million of cuts for the next two years, after cuts in government funding.

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The cuts include £1.6m to the children and young people budget, £2.8m to the community services budget, £2.8m for customer services budget, including increasing waste charges, and £766k for resources and regeneration.

The council also needs at least £7.6 million to balance the budget for the next financial year (2019/20).

Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Paul Bell, said the government had been “destroying” local government, and apologised to the Lewisham Council employees who have lost their jobs as a result of cuts.

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“I think it’s really important for us to say, as a Labour council, that the government has been destroying local government,” he said.

“It’s a human tragedy, a crisis.

“I apologise to council’s employees who have had to suffer,” he said.

Cabinet member for school performance, Cllr Chris Barnham, said that spending on children and young people was crucial, with demand increasing.

The council has a £12.6m funding gap on children’s social care.

“In a way it is a service that to some extent is a public service that when we are going well people often don’t notice but when people do notice, what we are effectively doing is protecting children most vulnerable locally.”

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“I don’t want to spend a penny more on the service than we have to.

“It is a service that is under pressure, we not alone in that,” he said.

Head of corporate resources, David Austin, said chldren’s services would be overspent for this financial year, but hoped improvement plans “will bear fruit.”

Cabinet member for finance, Cllr Amande de Ryk, said the cuts and their impacts would be monitored over the year.

The budget needs to be approved by the full council.