Efficiencies to be made in £50m budget cut

Sir Robin Wales

Sir Robin Wales - Credit: Newham Cll PR

Efficiencies will be made to reduce the impact of the £50million budget cut, the Mayor of Newham has said.

A public consultation has been launched to help the council find the best way to make the savings for the next financial year.

“We’ve saved £106m so far through a lot of efficiencies,” said Sir Robin Wales.

“We moved into Dockside which has saved £50m alone, and we’ve streamlined other processes to save money.”

However, making things more efficient will not save the entire figure – which is set to rise over the next few years.

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Sir Robin said: “We’re in a difficult place.

“We’ve got to save £50m over the next year and £90m in the next two or three years.”

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Sir Robin added that he hoped that council tax, which has been frozen for seven years, would not have to rise but said that he had not committed to or ruled out any action.

The consultation, which will run until October 11, will be used to shape the council’s decision-making.

“It’s quite difficult,” Sir Robin admitted.

“Take free school meals, how important is it?

“You’ll get a different answer depending on whether someone benefits from it or not.”

He added that the council expected to see some financial return in the next couple of years from the £40m it loaned to help purchase the Olympic Stadium.

“We’ve got a 35 per cent stake in the Olympic Stadium in exchange for a £40m loan, which will be repaid with interest,” he said.

“We’ve also got free and discounted tickets to events there for residents. I think that’s a good deal.”

The results of the consultation will be reported to cabinet during a meeting later this year, with a final decision made in February.

To complete the consultation, visit newham.gov.uk/budgetchallenge

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