£13m funding cut leaves council with 'difficult decisions to make' warns leader (From This Is Local London)
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£13m funding cut leaves Sutton Council with 'difficult decisions to make' warns leader
The leader of the council has warned that services could have to be axed after another cut in Government funding.
The Government's grant to Sutton Council is to be cut from £79.6m in 2013/14 to £74.1m next year and £66.1m the year after that, the Government announced yesterday.
Councillor Ruth Dombey, leader of Sutton Council, said the cutback has left the council with "difficult decisions to make" and criticised the Government for what she called a disingenuous approach to announcing reduction in funding.
She also called on funding given to London Mayor Boris Johnson for projects to be redistributed among councils.
The Government described the reduction in funding as a three per cent cut in average spending power but Coun Dombey said this does not paint the full picture as it also takes into account money raised through council tax but does not include the reduction in 2015/16.
She said: "Yet again the Government has failed to recognise the reality of delivering public services.
"It is simply disingenuous so say that it is only a 3 per cent reduction in funding when the reality is that it is 17 per cent.
"Local councils have shown that they can make more efficient use of public money when centrally held budgets are handed over to us.
"However, what we are seeing at the moment is even more power and funding being taken away.
"We have already made £32m of savings without front-line services being affected. There is no doubt that these further cuts will impact on the quality of life of our residents.
"We can only do so much with the money we have and, together with our residents, we are going to have to make some difficult decisions about the services they receive."
The cuts were announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his autumn statement.
Also in the statement he announced that London councils are to give £70m from their new homes bonus grants to the Mayor of London's office to use on social housing.
Coun Dombey added: "Yet again London boroughs are to lose out so that the mayor can get government funding for his own projects This grant was supposed to recognise the work authorities are doing to get much needed housing built but it is being raided from under our noses.
"Families and young people in Sutton desperately need more, affordable, housing to be built.
As a council we have campaigned hard to have the power to build these much needed homes.
While in his statement the chancellor has given councils some scope to build homes, the mayor has instead been given a significant chunk of the money councils in London would be able to use for new homes."
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