London councils ‘face £1.5bn black hole’

28 Sep 17

Councils in the capital are facing a £1.5bn black hole in public finances before the end of the decade, according to London Councils.

The umbrella body for the capitals 32 boroughs warned yesterday that they are facing a 63% budget cut by 2020 while the city’s population is due to hit 9.1m over that period.

London Councils stated this will result in “critical” pressures for services like housing and social services.

In a submission to the government ahead of the Autumn Budget, London Councils has highlighted the threat that lack of investment poses a number of key services, on top of the risks already exposed in adult social care.

Claire Kober, chair of London Councils, said the impact of a 63% drop in funding on services “cannot be underestimated”.

 “Residents are already being affected and our capital’s reputation as a great place to live and work will be damaged unless things change,” she said.

Kober added: “In the short term we are urging government to recognise the £1.5bn shortfall that London boroughs are facing.

“However, it is clear that the local government funding system is broken and we need a more sustainable solution.

“Therefore we pledge to continue working with government to reform public services and seek new opportunities for devolution.” 

The submission from London Councils comes after the Local Government Association published its request to the chancellor ahead of the Budget, which outlined how councils across England were facing a £5.3bn funding gap.

London Councils graph
Source: London Councils

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