03 February 2008

£36 million cuts cuts cuts

More than £36 million of cuts in local services are due to be agreed by the Tory cabinet in Hammersmith & Fulham on 4 February, with over £15 million being cut from spending in 2008-9 alone.

There are new cuts to services for older people (home care, nursing homes, meals on wheels) and children (play and childcare, school meals) and libraries. Perhaps the meanest cut of all is the help to families on low incomes with grants for clothing, music and dance.

While the Tories boast about small cuts to council tax (just £27 less than 2004), the cabinet will also vote to increase fees and charges for a wide range of services by an average 5% with some facing much higher increases. Strangely the cabinet papers on the revamped (how much did that cost? It's not very user friendly) council website do not include appendix G with details of the fee increases.

The cabinet is also due to agree two other highly controversial reports:

* the privatisation of waste collection, recycling and street cleaning with the contract awarded for at least seven years to Serco. More than £900k has been cut from these services in the last year, but the tenders all came in higher than budgeted. So the Tory council reduced the specification for street cleaning and still it has failed to meet its cuts target through the contract award

* the appointment of development partners for the town hall site to create new council offices. This will mean the demolition of 54 flats for blind people and the Quakers Friends meeting house as well as the end of the cinema in King Street.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah well, at least the "savings" are spent on useful things like this