Lambeth Council: £30m cuts to be approved tonight

Angry crowds stormed the town hall at last year's budget meeting Pic by Kaye Wiggins

Follow tonight’s proceedings live on the Brixton Blog here

Lambeth council will decide tonight where the axe in nearly £30million of cuts.

Councillors will meet at the Town Hall, Brixton, to approve the proposed budget which forms the latest chapter in the plan to slash £95million from balance sheets by 2015.

Children’s centre staff, child protection officers and waste collectors are all destined for the chop in the budget document, which will also proposes a freeze in council tax for another year.

Despite the pledge to avoid hitting front line services, £4.9million will be cut from the children and young people’s budget, including £1.375million cut to staffing at children’s centres and a £363,000 reduction in child protection officers.

Council leader, Cllr Steve Reed said; “One in every three pounds has been cut from our net budget by the Government and the impact of this will be felt by every resident.

“Despite this, we have done everything we can to protect frontline services. “

He continued: “Nearly two thirds of the spending reductions have come from back office services rather than the front line, and where we have had to make saving from services we have restructured or reduced them rather than cut them altogether.”

Liberal Democrats in the borough say that the Labour council could be doing more to avoid the savage cuts.

Cllr Ashley Lumsden told the Blog today: “We all know that the economy is difficult but in Lambeth what matters to us is choices locally.

“That’s why we are proposing avoiding cuts by selling off assets that the council isn’t using, like Phoenix House. That money can be used to avoid cuts to the front line.”

Security is expected to be tight at Lambeth Town Hall this evening after angry protesters last year stormed the council chamber, occupying the hall and forcing councillors to reconvene in a smaller, and heavily guarded, committee room.

Campaign group Lambeth Save our Services expect a large turn out at of  residents angry at the speed and scale of the cuts at the Town Hall from 6pm. They will then move on to the Karibu Centre, in Gresham Road, Brixton, for their ‘people’s meeting’.

Here’s a video of the occupation from last year.

  •  Cllr Steve Reed was heavily criticised by Conservative MPs last week for approving a poster campaign that attacked the coalition government for enforcing the cuts on Lambeth. One MP called the posters, which cost £600 to produce, “purely political”.
The Brixton Blog will be covering proceedings with a live blog here