Lewisham Council has approved more than £8 million worth of cuts, out of the additional £12.2 million they announced in July.

The proposed cuts concentrated on £9.2 million of the £12.2 million, added to the £9 million it announced early in the year. 

Adult social care received the biggest blow at the cabinet meeting last week, slashed by £4 million. 

The council has proposed to cut £2 million in costs by “managing care at the point of access”, including plans to ensure more people are able to remain independently at home.  

The aim is to make savings by rehabilitating people instead of putting them into care, which is “very expensive” and “emotionally difficult” on families.  

According to council documents: “Adult social care has been piloting differing approaches to deliver both effective outcomes for residents who make contact for support, and effective management of demand and the use of resources.  

“This approach places the use of prevention and early intervention that can promote self-management, independence, rehabilitation and recovery at the heart of practice.” 

Proposed cuts to nursery lettings, school crossing patrols, and street sweeping, were deferred for further scrutiny.  

According to the council, £37 million in cuts will be needed to “put the council’s finances on a sustainable footing” in the two years to 2021/22 – £20.6m in 2020/21 and £17m in 2021/22 – and a further £12 million in cuts in the year after that.  

The cuts have been made in the context of central Government funding for local authorities being slashed by 63 per cent since 2010, inflation, and a growing population in Lewisham, according to the budget report.  

Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Councillor Amanda De Ryk told the cabinet: “I don’t need to tell you that cuts of any magnitude are getting harder to make and that using the new house bonus to balance the budget is not what we would choose to do at this point.  

“I also don’t need to tell you that it is this Government and its failure to properly fund services that is to blame for the need to make cuts of the scale in front of us.  

“None of us would want to be in the position as we find ourselves, of having to balance out the relative needs of the most vulnerable in society.”