Kaye Wiggins reports from last night’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee at Lambeth Council – councillors, parent governors and church representatives meet to publicly hold Lambeth’s decision-makers to account
Lambeth’s policing, schools, housing, care services and back-to-work programmes will be protected from the council’s £79m in spending cuts, council leader Steve Reed told councillors last night.
At a meeting of the council’s scrutiny committee, Reed said the council must save £79m over the next three years because of cuts in its funding from central government. It would announce its final plans for doing this on 23 February, he said.
Reed said he had identified the five areas as priorities that needed to be sheltered from spending cuts.
In practice, he said, this meant the council would make sure there were 100 extra police officers on the beat in 2011/12. It would retain its funding for police community support officers, targeted youth services and support for victims of domestic violence, he said.
Reed also said the council would not change its eligibility criteria for care services and would protect funding for schools, housing and employment services.
“We have saved £24m through efficiency savings,” he said. “To do this we have hollowed out our back office so much that there must be a risk about our ability to deliver frontline services.”
“We can’t protect all vulnerable people, but we’ve chosen to protect the most vulnerable people.”
Reed confirmed that the council would not cut the pay, sick leave and holiday entitlements of council staff. “It is not worth being aggressive with our staff when they are already going through immense pain,” he said.