A top Greenwich councillor has hit out at the new Prime Minister demanding he must keep to spending promises: “No ifs, no buts”.

Boris Johnson was formally appointed Prime Minister yesterday following a leadership contest with rival Jeremy Hunt.

Johnson, whose brother is Orpington MP Jo, gave his first speech as PM outside Downing Street yesterday, focusing on uniting the country with Brexit.

The new leader did however make several policy pledges, including putting more cops on the beat, investing in schools and putting more money into the NHS.

Labour-run Greenwich Council has wasted no time in sending a message to the new occupant of Number 10, pointing out that budget cuts have had a big impact on its services.


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Last year, leader Danny Thorpe said the authority was “at the end of the line” in finding more places to cutback.

Earlier this year council bosses were told to find an extra £2m in backroom savings as cllr Thorpe warned of a “perfect storm”.

Councils are expecting the result of a government spending review this year, a blueprint that will outline how much cash is handed out.

With Boris hinting that he is looking at more than Brexit with his domestic policy pitches yesterday, rumours have grown that he is preparing for a snap election in Autumn.

Johnson has pledged to take “personal responsibility” for the changes he wants to see, including better rail and road infrastructure, more policing and higher wages.

In the meantime, cllr Christine Grice, cabinet member for finance & resources, said:  “We welcome the new Prime Minister to office and his optimistic promises to fix the crisis in social care, put more police on the streets, increase per pupil funding and lift millions out of poverty – forthwith!”

“As a Council we have had enough of austerity and nine years of sustained cuts to our budgets –  it has had a huge impact on the services like social care that we provide.

“Since 2010, our funding has reduced by a staggering £1,400 per household, totalling some £125 million, largely as a result of funding that the Government has taken away from us.

“At the same time, the population has grown, and more people have had to use our services.”

“The Prime Minister says he wants to unite the kingdom. We want to create a fairer Greenwich for everyone who lives and works here.

“Our next four-year financial cycle starts in April 2020 and we need to make sure every pound we spend goes towards helping us achieve this goal.

“So, we look forward to the Prime Minister realising his promises and taking personal responsibility for the changes people want to see – no ifs or buts.”

At a full council meeting last week, councillors were told by auditors that Brexit was one of several risks bringing uncertainty to budgets.

Greenwich has been listed as one of a dozen councils that is “in danger” of exhausting its reserves if current spending habits continue.

Greenwich’s reserves dropped 44 per cent between 2015 and 2018, however the authority’s reserves are strong compared to other councils.

Cash reserves – money held back for projects or emergencies, such as flooding – are seen as a measure of financial security.