Government cuts force Hackney into slashing �70 million from budget

Borough chiefs must find �26 million for the first year and �70 million over the next four.

HACKNEY Council is planning to slash its budget by a whopping �26 million for next year and a total of �70 million over four years.

Following the Tory/Lib Dem coalition Governemnt’s Comprehensive Spending Reveiw (CSR) announcement yesterday (Wednesday) the council announced it has been forced to find the huge sums to keep in line with demands from the Chancellor.

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, promised that no front-line services would be hit and that the situation would become clearer once the council had the full details of the 2011/12 local government finance settlement, which is expected in December.

Mr Pipe said: “I would like to reassure local residents that there will be no material cuts to the frontline services that we provide in the coming financial year.

“We will continue to prioritise the protection of frontline services, and will work to minimise the impact on services of this massive reduction in government support to this borough.

“The Council is accelerating its programme of efficiency savings in order to protect frontline services this year, but the government announcement makes swingeing cuts to local government that in the years ahead, no Council could absorb through efficiencies alone.

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“As part of next year’s consultation around the 2011/2012 budget, we will listen to the priorities of local people to ensure that they are reflected in the difficult decisions that will need to be made over the coming years.”

Hackney Council said it had already developed proposals of nearly �18m and is finalising the detail in relation to a further �8m to be implemented and delivered for April 1 2011.

Borough chiefs are also planning a budget consultation to take place in early 2011 whcih be an opportunity to gather the views of residents and stakeholders on priorities to inform the decisions the Council will need to take on where to focus resources in the coming years.

Through the budget consultation process, the Council will inform and involve people in the community in prioritising spend on local public services to ensure it supports Hackney’s residents during what may be a difficult period of spending cuts for all public services in the local area.