The Cuts - Ealing Council Leader's Statement

Julian Bell warns of more to come

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''The package of cuts that we agreed at cabinet this week was done with a real sense of both sadness and anger. Sadness because we recognised that despite a lot of hard work it was not possible to make these cuts without causing real pain to residents through service reductions and anger because these were cuts that did not need to happen if the coalition government had made less ideologically driven choices.

''Unfortunately £55m budget reductions is not yet enough and there will be more pain when we get the final grant settlement from government which all predictions suggest will see a political decision to take money from London authorities and give it to the Tory Shire Counties.

''Despite the challenge we have still shaped this budget with our Labour values. We have protected the public by investing in Police Constables, the youth offending team and the Youth service.

''The most vulnerable have not had any cuts to their services including child protection that the Tory leader shamefully tried to suggest had received a cut. Compared with many other Council’s there are no cuts in Ealing to Children’s Centres and early year’s frontline services and services to the most vulnerable elderly and disabled are preserved.

'Frontline street cleaning, graffiti and fly-tipping services have been substantially protected and the cuts have fallen in the main on the monitoring side. We’ve launched our new 24/7 Grimebusters hotline this week.

''We are re-organising Community Centre staff in a more cost effective way but there will be no Community Centre closures as a result. The Park Rangers are being reduced but used in a much more productive way. They will be able to co-ordinate more volunteer activity in our parks which is increasingly how local Council services will have to be delivered across the board in this new financial climate.

''Ask not what your Council can do for you but ask what you can do for your Council is the new approach or as the Ealing Council motto states “progress with unity” between residents and the Council.''




1 December 2010