On Wednesday our new Prime Minister appointed his cabinet, and gave former Communities and Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, the top job – Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Lambeth Labour councillors have sent postcards to No. 11 Downing Street calling on Sajid Javid to truly put an end to austerity in local government, and to restore funding for councils so that we can continue to deliver the vital services that our residents rely on.
After almost a decade of Tory austerity, councils have lost on average 60p out of every £1 that the last Labour government was spending on local government. Lambeth has been making huge savings since the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition Government came to power in 2010 and imposed a 50% cut in our core funding. To balance the books, between 2010 and 2019 we’ve had to make savings of more than £200 million.
Adult social care, children’s services, and homelessness have all reached breaking point because of the funding cuts this Tory government have made. Sticking plaster solutions have failed to address all immediate pressures, let alone deal with the longer term.
As Sajid Javid used to have respobsibility for local government, we are hopeful that he will listen to councillor colleagues from all parties who are calling for an immediate injection of funding that he now has the power to deliver. This is not a party political ask – the former Tory Chairman of the Local Government Association, Lord Porter, made it clear that councils cannot be expected to continue to deliver vital services like adult social care and children’s services on a shoestring budget.
We are clear: Our council needs pounds not plasters. It’s time to stop the tory cuts.