Anger as Hackney Council cuts rise to �60 million next year
Immediate impact of cuts more severe than previously thought
A whopping �60 million could be cut from Hackney Council coffers next year, Mayor Jules Pipe warned last night as hundreds of angry protesters rallied outside the town hall.
Stunned councillors gasped as Mr Pipe broke the news about the coalition government’s “evil cuts” to the full council meeting.
The cuts – which Mr Pipe vowed to fight - follow the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review last Wednesday (October 20).
They are much worse than the �70 million over four years starting with �26 million next year that Mr Pipe predicted last week, when he promised no front line services would be cut.
He said he thought the figure would now equate to 20 percent cuts in the first year, rather than 7.2 per cent over each of the next four years as originally announced.
“It’s imagined the grant cuts are set to be cut at twice the rate claimed by the central government - there’s spin and there’s outright deception,” he said.
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“This is approaching �50 to 60 million in this year alone, unless there are some rabbits in hats they are going to bring out.
“Most secondary school pupils will lose out, families with children will take the brunt of the cuts - we are all in it together.”
He also spoke about the government’s �20,000 cap on annual housing benefit, describing it as “the social cleansing of hate”.
About 250 campaigners, trade unionists and children held a loud demonstration on the steps of the town hall in Mare Street calling on Mr Pipe to protect jobs and services.
Glyn Harries, joint secretary of Hackney Alliance to Defend Public Services, said: “Obviously, this is shocking. “You can’t protect frontline services with those sort of cuts.”
Hackney Council’s financial situation for is expected become clearer after full details of the 2011/12 local government finance settlement are revealed in December.