Newham Council set for £12m savings in 2021-22
- Credit: Ken Mears
Newham Council is looking to make £12m worth of savings in 2021-22 as it emerges from the Covid pandemic.
BBC Shared Data Unit (SDU) has revealed local authorities across the UK, hit by falling income and increased costs, are set to make at least £1.7bn worth of savings in 2021-22.
Despite those savings, councils currently predict a £3bn shortfall in their budgets by 2023-24.
A Newham Council spokesperson said its 2021/22 budget document lays out "the significant challenges that the council faces in its finances."
“The Covid-19 pandemic created huge cost pressures, delayed planned savings actions, and depressed economic activity, that has seriously reduced Council income," the spokesperson said.
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“This meant we had to make £12million of savings to balance our budget for 2021/22.
“Newham is committed to supporting residents and businesses and has done so, but as the pandemic continues there is a shortfall in government funding.
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“We are facing a £12.5m pressure this year and we need Whitehall to recognise that more is needed to ensure services and support can continue to be delivered.”
The council has identified cutting £1.5m in its children and young people's services department by returning "families to local, shared accommodation from self‐contained accommodation out of the borough", among other savings.
"Efficiency savings" account for more than £4m of the planned total.
Council tax rose 4.99 per cent this financial year, three per cent which is ringfenced for adult social care.
A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokesperson said: “The government has allocated more than £12 billion directly to councils since the start of the pandemic, with more than £6 billion of this un-ringfenced, recognising that councils are best placed to deal with local issues.
“English councils’ core spending power also increased from £49 billion to £51.3 billion between 2020 and 2022 in response to the increased pressure on local councils during the pandemic.
“In the coming months, we will take stock of the demands faced by councils and the resources available to meet them and will decide on the timetable for future funding reform.”