Hackney to lose �40 million in Government funding next year

CUTS to Hackney Council funding will be among the highest in London.

The council will see a loss of 8.9 per cent in the next financial year - a massive �40 million from Hackney’s budget in 2011/12 alone.

It joins Newham and Tower Hamlets as the London authorities which will lose most from the Government cuts, outlined in Parliament yesterday.

They join 34 other councils across the country with the top rate cut.

Richer Dorset gets a 0.25 per cent increase in its funding, while eight other local authorities in more affluent areas also see a small rise.

Hackney’s Police are also set to lose 5.1 per cent next year and 6.7 per cent the year after and the budget for policing the Olympics has been cut from �600m to �475m, although the original amount will still be available for emergencies.

Announcing the fine detail of local government cuts in the House of Commons yesterday Communities Secretary Eric Pickles called it a “fair” and “progressive settlement”

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“I have sought to achieve a fair and sustainable settlement for local government by listening to what the local government community has asked for,” he said.

He announced an �85m emergency fund to cushion the blow.

But according to Hackney’s Mayor Jules Pipe this money is “smoke and mirrors” which disguises an even harsher 13 per cent cut.

Speaking on Channel 4 News last night Mr Pipe said: “What’s been announced is a series of huge cuts to local government across the country. It hits the poorest councils hardest.”

Poorer councils like Hackney are hit harder because they take in less council tax from residents and more in grants to support the less well off.

Hackney receives �1,000 per head of population compared to Wokingham’s �125 per head of population.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles yesterday suggested local authorities shared services and chief executives to save money.

He praised the decision by three Tory London councils, Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea, in October to merge services and create a super council serving more than half a million people.