Many Islington services will go, warns council leader

THE leader of Islington Council has warned that many local services could be axed completely in the wake of this week’s savage Government cuts.

Speaking after the results of the coalition’s Comprehensive Spending Review were announced yesterday, Councillor Catherine West (Labour), said: “The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in Government have hit Islington hard with the most sweeping, unfair cuts that we have seen since the 1920s.

“The picture will get clearer, but we already know that Islington’s community will lose tens of millions of pounds that support vital public services.

“By taking aim at affordable housing, council tax benefits, police officers and the services Islington Council provides, their unfair cuts hit us especially hard. Our community, with so many disadvantaged people, needs support to move forward.

“Many services that the council currently runs will be reduced or closed. No aspect of the council’s work will be untouched.”

Councillor West fears that housing could be the biggest problem for the people of Islington.

“We now know that the Government is planning to force a massive increase in council and social rents for many families, abolition of secure tenancies and housing benefit cuts,” she said. “Many Islington families will face eviction at a time when funding for new affordable homes is slashed.

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“The real shame is that the Government did not have to cut so hard or so fast and they did not have to target their cuts at communities like Islington.

“We in Islington Labour are on the side of our community. We will target the money we have to tackle poverty, raise our children’s achievement and work for a fairer borough. Working as a community Islington must send a strong message to the Government – stop your unfair cuts.”