Government spending review confirms a further £17 million cut to Islington Council budget

Councillor Richard Watts

Councillor Richard Watts - Credit: Archant

A further £17 million will be slashed from Islington’s already squeezed public purse, a governent spending review confirmed yesterday.

Cash-strapped Islington Council has already seen a £120 million reduction in central government funding since 2011 and will now have to plug another huge – and unplanned – gap in its finances in the financial year 2015/16.

Cllr Richard Watts, executive member for finance and performance, has submitted an urgent motion to tonight’s full council meeting at Islington Town Hall, laying bare the council’s anger at the new wave of cuts and urging the government to change course.

He claimed the cuts are both “unecessary” and will cause “lasting damage” to public services and “hardship” to the community.

Cllr Watts continued: “The people of Islington are paying the price of the Tory Chancellor’s economic failure. Councils deliver vital services that people rely on and these cuts will hurt. We’ve already had a third of our budget slashed – now we’re losing another £17 million on top.”

“The Tory-led government have chosen to target their cuts on areas like Islington who have the least to give. The 10 most deprived local authorities are losing six times more per head than the 10 least deprived local authorities.”

“The spending review has also imposed further real terms cuts to Islington’s Police force, hospitals, schools and social security system.”

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“Islington Council calls on the government to change course and invest in public services both to boost the economy and to protect the public from further cuts to vital services.”

The motion going before tonight’s meeting has been seconded by council leader, Cllr Catherine West.