Between 2010 and 2018/19, the money given from central government to Lambeth council will have been cut by an estimated 56%. During that same period, as a result of this reduction, the council has made or identified £238m of savings.
That includes £55m over the next three years, as set out in the council’s budget papers.
The 2017/18 budget is based on delivering Lambeth council’s clear priorities of caring for those most in need, preventing long-term issues, driving growth that benefits everyone and building strong & sustainable neighbourhoods.
Word from the Leader
Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council, said: “Every difficult decision we have to make is framed by our priorities for Lambeth, and our drive to reduce inequality and support our residents who are most in need.
“We are helping vulnerable people stay in their homes rather than residential care, and inspiring and training a new wave of foster carers to help young people in need get a better start in life.
“We are investing in regeneration and enterprise to develop skills and jobs for local people and support our rapidly growing, successful business community.
“Our staff are working smarter and more efficiently, at less cost to the council and we are working with community partners to find new ways of maintaining services, like libraries and Adventure Playgrounds.”
Lambeth’s priorities are set out in the Borough Plan, developed in partnership with over 40 local organisations, looking to harness the success the borough has already enjoyed and ensure that the ongoing benefits are felt as widely as possible.
Priorities are also shaped by the latest Residents’ Survey, which shows rising resident satisfaction for the fourth year in a row, and that clean streets, parks and transport rank as the most important things for the majority of Lambeth residents.
The proposals outlined will save around £20 million through efficiency savings, including renegotiating contracts, merging back-office services and moving all postal services online. They also include £11 million of savings from transforming the way council works for residents, moving more services online and streamlining internal processes. These savings will mean the council has less staff than in 2010 (falling from around 4,000 in 2010 to an expected 2,100 in 2020).
Services like children’s centres and playgrounds are benefiting from years of work with community partners to keep them open, despite the savings. The tough budget choices also reflect Lambeth residents’ key priorities, like street cleaning, housing and parks, and the council’s values to protect those facing welfare cuts, protect council tenants and maintain the vital service for women and girls that are victims of violence.
There are plans to raise an additional £7 million income, bringing fees and charges in line with neighbouring boroughs and using the council’s borrowing powers to invest to ensure an income to the council that can fund services.
Some services will see significant changes due to the savings that have to be found, but the council has worked hard to identify and protect services that are used by the most vulnerable and high-risk individuals.