Lambeth: Savings needed to make up Government funding shortfall

8 December 2023

Written by: Lambeth Council

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Every area of council spending has been reviewed to help Lambeth ensure it can set a balanced budget in Spring, with a new report outlining the proposals published today.

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Lambeth: Savings needed to make up Government funding shortfall

The council faces a £38.3million funding gap over the next four years, including £25million next year, because of rising demand for public services, inflation and projections that future government funding will further fall behind the costs needed to meet local needs.

The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and Government announcements so far on their plans for council funding next year indicate Lambeth, along with many other local authorities, will not get the funded needed to support those with least, and those with highest needs, through the cost of living and housing crisis.

The council must set a balanced budget by law, so in response a combination of service changes, efficiencies and increasing income have been proposed by the council to bridge the shortfall. If the report is adopted further budgeting work will be undertaken ahead of Lambeth Council officially adopting its budget on February 28 next year.

Budget pressures are particularly being driven by demand for services like children’s and adult social care, and also in being able to meet the borough’s huge temporary accommodation bill.

It is estimated that around one in 50 Londoners are currently homeless and living in temporary accommodation run by local authorities due to the housing crisis. In Lambeth every night the council provides temporary accommodation for more than 4,200 homeless households because of the huge gap between the level of demand for accommodation and the national failure to support the building of new homes.

Cllr David Amos said: “Our services support those with the highest needs. Inflation, the housing crisis and the shortfall in government funding are making meeting these needs ever harder. We again find ourselves facing very tough choices as we work to meet our legal requirement to set a balanced budget.

“The Government continues to ask councils to do more with less and allow persistent inflation to erode the spending power of local authorities. Public services need truly sustainable funding for the services local people rely on and not be reliant on piecemeal and increasingly insufficient government funding.”

“Despite these pressures the council has continued to focus on supporting residents through the cost of living crisis, making Lambeth’s neighbourhoods cleaner and more climate resilient, creating opportunities for young people, improving health and wellbeing and keeping Lambeth resident’s safe.”

To read the full report visit: