Residents urged to have their say on Newham's Budget Challenge

17 August 2015 in Finance
Newham residents are being urged to make their views heard on how the council can save £50 million next year through an eight week consultation launched today (Monday 17 August).
Newham Council needs to make the savings as a result of the continuing deep cuts in its funding from government for delivering services and other cost pressures including rising demands on its services.

It has launched the consultation to give residents the chance to have their say on which services matter most to them. The results will help the council to set its budget for the coming year.

People will be able to complete the consultation online or at a one of a range of events the council will be holding across the borough throughout the eight week period. These will include street stalls in town centres and meetings in Community Neighbourhood buildings.

Despite being one of the most deprived boroughs in the country, Newham is being hit hard by the government’s funding cuts. Next year the council will receive £284 less for every home in the borough, while Richmond Council, in a wealthier area of the capital, will only see its grant cut by £57 per home.

The £50 million the council needs to save next year is more than it currently spends on street cleaning, waste collection, keeping the roads lit and running libraries combined.

The council has already had to save £106 million due to the cuts in government funding it has faced since 2010. It will also need to make further savings by 2019 meaning it will need to make tough decisions about the services it provides in the future.

Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales, said: “These savings are by far the biggest challenge we have faced in recent years and it is one the council and the people we serve need to tackle together.

“The savage nature of the cuts means we have no choice but to make some really difficult decisions which will have implications for the services and support we provide our residents now and in the future.

“Over the last five years we have managed to protect the services that matter most to our residents but the continuing nature of these harsh and unfair cuts means we need to take more radical action and need our residents to get involved.

“This is why I would urge as many people as possible to ensure they make their views known through this consultation.” 

The consultation closes at midnight on Sunday 11 October 2015.