Lewisham Council proposes £28m in further budget cuts

The News Shopper reports on the scale of Lewisham Council's proposed budget cuts, outlined in a paper for the budget Select Committee. As the paper says, "it's bad news for just about everyone."

The paper has a more detailed list of the cuts, but the main savings include:

- £1.7 million cut to the "Supporting People" budget, which provides help to 'vulnerable people'
- £1 million saving by cutting Horizones and Wesley Halls day care centres
- £750,000 saving by reducing residential road sweeping from a weekly to (in some cases) a monthly service
- £270,000 reduction in funding to Community Safety programmes which help victims of domestic violence and anti-social behaviour
- £200,000 saving by withdrawing discretionary Freedom passes
- £187,000 reduction in the Local Assembly budget - more than halving the total budget

If approved next year, the cuts would save £28.3m over three years.

We'll leave it to others with a better working knowledge of some of the other programmes to say what they think, but in our view, if they halve the LA budget, they should just go the whole-hog and scrap the programme.

Assemblies are great, but they are an expensive exercise in local democratic engagement and if they don't have any significant money to allocate, their main reason for being ceases to exist. The money could then be spent on other vital services, or diverted to the local good causes they are supposed to fund.