Cuts, Cuts and More Cuts Ahead

A 'heartbreaking' raft of measures in bid to balance the books

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Ealing's Leader says the council is having to make 'heart-breaking' budget decisions which will have an impact on everyone in the borough.

Jobs will be lost, services reduced or even stopped and more day centres are likely to close as the council tries to cope with a spending budget which it says has been halved over the last ten years.

The latest proposals which will go before Cabinet next week will cut £56 million, contributing to the total £96 million which needs to be saved by April 2019.

Councillor Julian Bell said '' Without the money needed to make ends meet we have been left with no choice but to think the unthinkable and to make these heart-breaking decisions. What is worse we know that there is more to come, we are just over half way to identifying proposals for the massive shortfall in our finances and we still need to find in excess of £40million of savings.  

“Although I did not come into local government to make central government cuts, I cannot shirk the responsibility given to me and my councillors by the electorate. We have no choice but to set a balanced budget or the government could take control of the council and impose its own cuts.  We have to prioritise and concentrate our funding on fewer things which we believe will have the greatest impact on improving the lives of local people.''

Councillors have promised that despite the ongoing cuts they will freeze council tax again next year however it's likely to be the last such freeze.

 The immediate proposals being considered by the council’s cabinet include:

• Consulting users of Elm Lodge and Sycamore Lodge about relocating day services to the Michael Flanders Centre
• Reviewing the budget for day centre transport
• Consulting users of the Solace mental health drop-in centre about its closure
• Reorganising foster care provision to create greater efficiency by transferring some services from external providers to the in-house service
• Increasing the charge of bulky item collections from £20 for eight items to £40
• Introducing a new charge for the disposal of DIY waste which will need to be taken to Greenford Reuse and Recycling Centre which would be charged for by weight
• Charging for skip permits at £50 a fortnight in non-CPZ areas and £100 a fortnight in CPZ zones.  This is in line with many other boroughs
• Reorganising staffing structures within the council’s adults services
• Restructure of the play service including consulting the users of Lammas Park play centre about its closure
• Reducing the funding for school crossing patrols
• Reducing council funding for additional police officers and PCSOs. The council is proposing to fund police posts on its housing estates.
• Increased fees from advertising hoardings
• Reducing road gritting operations 
• Reducing the grounds maintenance budget
• Introducing paperless parking vouchers and increasing charges for households with multiple cars
• Reducing the running cost of Perceval House and reducing spend on IT, council buildings, financial services, security and internal cleaning services
• More than 400 council staff are at risk of redundancy. Already the council has reduced its senior management by 30%.  A further 14 senior posts are at risk of redundancy in this round of savings.  


The Cabinet meeting to discuss these proposals will be held on 25th November 2014


19th November 2014