Monday 13 December 2010

Newham Faces Maximum Cut in Council Funding

Today the government announced its expected massive cuts to council budgets - and Newham is amongst those councils facing the maximum cut of 8.9%.

According to figures released today by the Department for Communities and Local Government [Excel spreadsheet], the borough faces a £32.8 million reduction in its 'revenue spending power', an estimate made up of government grants, NHS support for health and social care and council tax receipts. This comes after £5.7 million of emergency 'transition grant', set aside for the country's poorest areas, has been included. Newham's cut is considerably higher than the average this year, which the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles told the Commons today was 4.4%, with wealthier (Tory) authorities far less affected. What a surprise.

The impact of this huge reduction in government funding for the local authority is obvious - sweeping cuts in services and major job losses. This is an attack on some of the country's poorest and most vulnerable people, but we know the prospect of Newham's councillors resisting cuts is precisely zero. So it looks like its down to the rest of us to defend our services from the Tories' assault.

Mapped: How The Cuts Will Hit London’s Councils


Anonymous said...

Do not be so pessimistic Kevin , at least --two, --- Newham Councillors support (or did support) your campaign against the temporary police base on the flats. So you could get some mileage with them ?

The main point mate though is Labour lost the General Election. What did/will trotskyists/anarchos like you ever do/will do to support Labour as an alternative to what is happening now ? You admitted it yourself, -you did not vote in the recent elections.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but at whoever this anonymous person is, Kevin wrote a good piece on why he didn't vote and why would anyone who has any sense support new Labour after all they did? Furthermore two councillors is not enough and as you said yourself it doesn't seem like they support it anymore. Pessimism is needed but I don;t think the blogger is being pessimistic, hes being realistic.
And the blogger does an enormous amount for his community, a lot more than most politicians do.

Kevin said...

To Anon 1:

Leaving aside the 'Trotskyist' label, which you must know I reject, I think you've missed the point about councillors (or perhaps I haven't explained it properly).

I don't ever support Labour as an alternative because it isn't one. Labour councillors locally seem ready, as always, to simply shrug their shoulders, say there is nothing they can do and then meekly implement cuts.

The council's leadership, meanwhile, is inherently unwilling to accept that its lack of accountability, its wasted spending on dubious management practices such employing consultants on inflated wages and its excessive pay for senior staff has alienated services from the very people they are supposed to benefit and support. That's why I have also always argued for more open, transparent and accountable public services in Newham.

If, however, some councillors are prepared to say, "no, this isn't what I chose election to public office to carry out", are willing to stand alongside local people to insist that cutting services is dangerous and unnecessary and to argue for greater transparency and accountability... then I'll applaud them for taking an important first step towards doing their job properly.

I may not vote for them still. But then I've seen little evidence that voting makes any difference.

Anonymous said...

I don't particularly agree with many of the political points which Mr Blowe makes here. However, his energy, passion and genuine concern for the disadvantaged is impressive.

I only wish that our local councillors had such integrity, political independence and compassion.

Keep up the good work!

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