In a press release published today, just fefore Full Council, Brent Council warns that it has to cut an additional £28 million from its budget:
Rising costs aren’t only hurting ordinary people. Most organisations are also feeling the strain of inflation, especially after the financial shock of the pandemic and Brexit.
The things that Brent Council needs to deliver – from building new council homes and maintaining the borough’s roads to statutory services like adult’s and children’s social care – are all becoming more expensive.
With the prices of basics, from food to fuel, rapidly increasing – many more families are also being pushed into poverty, meaning there are more people asking for both financial help and other forms of support from the council.
At the same time that demand for council services is rising, the money Brent receives directly from central government has been falling.
In the 12 years since April 2010, Brent Council has needed to save £196million from its budget – as the money the council receives directly from central Government has been cut by 78%.
Now, to make matters worse, the Government has said it will only confirm the money it plans to give local authorities for the next two years in December 2022, which makes it difficult for councils to plan.
All of this means Brent now needs to save even more money in order to balance its budget. It is estimated that an extra £28million needs to be saved by 2025, according to a report that went to the council’s Cabinet in July.
Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council, said:
The problems with the UK economy and the cost of living crisis are hitting hardworking people in the pocket and councils are no different.
Massively rising costs, increasing demand for what we do and less money from central government means we now need to make cuts. There is no doubt that finding £28million in savings on top of the £196million we have already saved will not be easy.
We are in a better position than many councils thanks to the massive strides we have taken over recent years to modernise and transform the council. We have recently saved money by streamlining senior management but there is more to do.
We will need to change how we work in many areas while trying to protect the frontline services that you or your mum, dad, grandparents or children rely on as much as possible.
In the autumn we will be launching a full budget consultation and we will need residents to be active participants in helping us to make the tough choices facing us.