Finance white knights sent in to rescue Hackney

1 Feb 01
Local government minister Hilary Armstrong is to send a seven-strong financial hit squad into the London Borough of Hackney to help the troubled authority deal with its budget deficit.

02 February 2001

Armstrong has asked accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche to recruit seven finance managers to work with Hackney as it implements a package of extensive cuts to reduce its deficit, which could be as much as £40m.

It is the first time the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has drafted in outside support for an authority.

Armstrong said she was prepared to intervene: 'The government has already made clear it will not stand by and let residents in Hackney suffer from sub-standard services.

'However, where possible we are keen to broker this kind of collaborative approach which will give Hackney the opportunity to manage its own future.'

Joint council leaders Jules Pipe and Eric Ollerenshaw welcomed the news. 'This will ensure we are able to put in place a robust and balanced budget,' they said.

The announcement came as 3,000 staff staged a three-day strike starting on January 29 in protest at the package of cuts introduced by managing director Max Caller


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