Lewisham borough anti-cuts campaign on Wednesday

Lewisham Council is planning to make substantial cuts to public services in the borough. It is being pushed into taking these steps by the national government's excessive cut-backs. A demonstration has been planned to protest against the cuts planned by the council, and the impact they will have on vulnerable local people's lives.

The demo has been called by Lewisham NUT. There are two stages in the cuts; the first stage is worth £21m. According to the organisers it means that:
- half of council buildings could close;
- 5 of 12 libraries could be shut (as previously covered on BC );
- over 30 children & young people's posts will be cut by November;
- there will be nearly £1m cuts in community safety, wardens services & police community support;
- over £1m will be cut from adult social care;
- day care support for users with learning disabilities will be cut by nearly £500k;
- £500k savings will be made in adult social care by "requiring clients to purchase care privately";
- over £1m will be cut from property services (24 posts - nearly a third of staff);
- road cleaning, street sweeping and night-time refuse collection will be cut back;
- economic development will be cut by £500k, with up to 30 jobs going;
- the anti-fraud team will be cut;
- the finance team will be cut by nearly £1m, almost a quarter of its current budget.

Additionally, a 2nd stage of cuts is planned, in which according to the NUT £10m cuts will be involved. This includes:
- £2m from early years centres (1 in 4 to close);
- £400k school improvement officers will go;
- £1m property management, halving the number of council-owned buildings by selling off office buildings, libraries, adult education and community centres;
- £400k on parks and improvements to open spaces;
- £400k on IT and equipment, due to reduced staffing (ie. redundancies).

These two stages of cuts deliver £31m of savings in total; however Lewisham is required to save £60m. Therefore these cuts only cover half of the savings that will be required all-in-all.

The demo will take place from 5.15-6.30pm on Weds 14th July, outside Lewisham Council Town Hall in Catford.

Thanks to Transpontine for flagging up the information.