Tough times mean tough choices
A decade of Government austerity has meant settlement grant funding to councils has been cut by an average of 63 per cent since 2010, that’s over 60p in every £1 of settlement grant funding gone from council budgets. Despite these cuts our council has continued to deliver vital services, attract investment, and support the aspirations of local people.
However, the rising cost of living has put significant pressure on council budgets and we are now facing tough choices.
Record inflation is responsible for causing the biggest pressure on Redbridge Council’s budget. This increase in costs is affecting all services, particularly those reliant on vehicle fuel, gas and electricity. Soaring inflation is also creating cost pressures for capital investment projects which are already under way, such as the new swimming pool in Wanstead and council housing schemes across the borough.
The rising cost of petrol has meant that for many Redbridge families filling up the tank has become much more expensive recently. Redbridge Council manages hundreds of vehicles in our fleet, including dustcarts, vans, minibuses and small lorries the council is facing the financial pressure of filling up 275 fuel tanks.
Energy bills have soared and as a result many households are being more careful, switching off lights and limiting charging devices. For Redbridge Council, turning off our street lights isn’t an option when we’re trying to keep our streets safe for local people. While local families are bearing the brunt of the increased expense of lighting up their houses, Redbridge Council is contending with the increased cost of lighting up around 19,000 street lights across the borough.
To keep essential council services going and continue supporting local people we will need to weigh up changes to council spending. Redbridge will continue to be financially prudent, careful with all funding and thoughtful when we invest but with costs spiralling difficult decisions will need to be made.
We want local people to help us make decisions about what matters most in our borough, what services you care about and where we can tighten our belts.
Cllr Kam Rai, Deputy Leader of Redbridge Council and Cabinet Member for Finance, Leisure & Culture
“There are trying times ahead for all of us in Redbridge due to the cost of living crisis. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to balance rising costs and demand for our services against cuts to our Government funding. We are among the lowest funded London boroughs and while we have been forced to make £230 million of savings because of austerity, we will rise to the challenge and keeping fighting for local people and the services they deserve.”