Lewisham Council to discuss budget cuts

With the media reporting that as many as 100,000 local council jobs could be under threat nation- wide, this evening's full meeting of Lewisham Council will discuss a budget paper, which raises the possibility of the Council identifying savings of £50-60m over three years.

The desired saving can't be delivered by efficiency savings alone and the paper argues for a "step change in the Council's approach."

In November, the Council agreed a strategy which would cut 50 posts, of which only 20 were vacant at the time of publication, meaning the headcount would shrink by 30.

Savings are required as a result of the impact of recession on revenue and expenditure, combined with an anticipated tightening of central government spending and a renewed commitment to an increase of 0% in Lewisham's Council Tax for 2010/11.

The Council is Lewisham's biggest employer.

24 comments:

ppp said...

Well, rock on entrepreneurialism

Anonymous said...

I have absolutley no idea what that last post meant.

Anonymous said...

50 isn't really a lot in such a large organisation. I'd say you could cut about 5 times that amount - and a slong as everyone started working as if they were in the private sector, you wouldn't notice the difference

Anonymous said...

50 posts must be all on high salaries?

Anonymous said...

Not that old chestnut. I've worked in both and not seen a great deal of difference. Things are a little more complex, lazy stereotypes don't help

Richard Elliot said...

Does it say something worrying about the state of private enterprise in our Borough if the Council is the largest employer?

ppp said...

This is a dormitory borough. People sleep here and work elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

what is the list of big employers in Lewisham, after the council?

Matt-Z said...

Goldsmiths is one. The railways are another, but privatisation means there are many companies involved over many different sites, so it's not one employer per se.

Tamsin said...

I think it is probably Goldsmiths and the PCT. The iron-works in Kender Street (a train made there still runs in Wales) is long gone, and the coco-cola bottling plant followed as well.

Lewisham Council, in their regeneration plans are talking the talk about encouraging business. Only hope it turns into action.

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, Goldsmiths is number 2. I think the ELL will be HQd in Lewisham, won't it?

I would imagine that the Council is the biggest employer in most London boroughs. They are huge organisations and would be bigger than most corporate HQs.

It doesn't matter per se, you can have lots of local employment without having big employers. London doesn't have many large-scale industrial employers and most large HQs are located in a relatively small number of locations, with the critical mass and infrastructure they need.

Lewisham has too few SMEs - that's the real issue.

Tressilliana said...

Lewisham College and Lewisham Hospital must both be big employers too.

Hardly surprising that Lewisham Council is the no. 1 employer given that there are around 60 primary schools, five secondary schools where the council is the employer, Crossways Sixth Form Centre and the community education staff, before you even start on social services, binmen, street cleaners etc.

Brockley Nick said...

@T - totally agree, although a lot of the sanitation services are subcontracted...

Anonymous said...

So the government is the boroughs largest employer and the government is the boroughs largest landlord....sound a bit like East Berlin...

Brockley Nick said...

The NHS is the single biggest employer in the UK and among the biggest employers in the world. Doesn't make the UK East Germany...

Tressilliana said...

The government isn't the borough's largest landlord, is it? The council housing is now in the hands of assorted housing associations or whatever the jargon is this month.

In any case, I expect in any dormitory suburb in any large city in Europe and even in the US, the state in one form or another will be a large employer.

Tamsin said...

Long may the NHS and Local Authorities stay big employers - it is when you have the creeping privatisation of "value for money" sub-contracting and user "choice" that problems come in of non-accountability and a rotten service.

Anonymous said...

The Council subcontract a lot of work out now,Glendale do most of the parks and gardens,Murphys most of the road works.50's not to bad Ive heard there Is going to be a 100 going at Lewisham College.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly when the Lewisham Mayor came to power he made savings of £10-12m in his first year, and I think around £3m a year in the following years?

It's the services that don't have a public voice that usual gets the hardest so social in particular children's services have been clobbered over the years.

Has list been produced of which departments are currently 'short of staff' but with the stroke pen/vote will be magically overmanned?

I would have thought social in particular childrens services is an area that may have staffing issues already.

Whereas the Mayor has previously announced I 'saved' the Blackheath fireworks or a library because that's the sort of thing the public get upset about.

Now, why not get those nice bankers to finance the libraries similar to Carnegie and celebrate the fact by sponsoring the Blackheath fireworks?

As much of what the council used to provide is now been transferred or outsourced council staff cuts will seem small but won't the council be asking Glendale and Lewisham Homes etc for a better deal?
As 'Lewisham Homes' manages the former council housing

Anonymous said...

The fireworks Is a joint venture with Greenwich Council Isn't It ?.and £25,000 Is nothing compared to the money the Council wastes.

Anonymous said...

You just confirmed what was being suggested before the public will storm the town hall over fireworks and libraries but choose to ignore large cuts made in social welfare.

Look at what reason was given for delays to some planning/building projects...lack of staff.

There's Forest Hill baths, Catford shopping centre, the dog track, Lewisham Gateway, new leisure centre, old leisure centre, new school which are all major projects that could kick off in the next 5 years.

If £25,000 is nothing then I'd like some.

Paul Bell said...

@Tamsin - I completely agree with you.

Anonymous said...

From a report before the Mayor tonight....relating to a school building project 5-6 years old.

"Ongoing problems with ventilation are a frustration for the school and the Authority and are being dealt with. The ventilation system for the school is predicated upon a mechanical system and it is acknowledged in retrospect that not being able to open the windows at all in some locations is a mistake, but now difficult and expensive to reverse."

Anonymous said...

Anon 12.31
They probably spent more than £25,000 on the models of the projects you have mentioned.

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