Labour Councillors in Lewisham are to join up with those across London to fight against the massive Tory cuts to council funding. Lewisham Labour will be joining Red Lines – a London wide campaign of Labour Councillors fighting against excessive Tory cuts.
Local government has been hit hardest by Tory austerity. The Government have slashed funding to local councils by 40% since 2010, with poorer areas like Lewisham hit hardest. Just before Christmas, the Government announced even greater cuts. Funding to Lewisham Council from central government will fall by a further 24%, from £160 million now to £122 million in 2019/20. All this comes at a time when demand for our services – including adult social care – continues to rise.
With Councils bound by law to set balanced budgets, the Tory cuts are a real threat to local services. Lewisham Labour will continue to work to protect the vulnerable and the services local people value. But the scale of these planned cuts will make this increasingly difficult.
Cllr Joe Dromey, Cabinet Member for Policy and Performance said; 'what the Tories are doing is an ideologically driven effort to shrink the state, no matter what the consequences for local services and communities. We're doing our best to minimise the impact of these cuts. But we also need to fight back. By working together with other boroughs, we can make a greater impact. That’s why I’m delighted that we’re joining the Red Lines campaign.’
Cllr Kevin Bonavia, Cabinet Member for Resources said: ‘Many people in Lewisham and across London don't yet know just how massive the Tory Government's cuts to local councils have been. Here in Lewisham our funding has been cut by over 40% since 2010 and our staff count has dropped from 4,500 to 2,500 so far, with the result that is getting ever harder to provide the services that our residents deserve. That's why we need to work together in speaking up for the people we represent.'
You can find out more about the Red Lines campaign and sign the petition against massive cuts to council funding here.