£13m funding cut leaves Sutton Council with 'difficult decisions to make' warns leader

Sutton Guardian: Council leader Ruth Dombey Council leader Ruth Dombey

The leader of the council has warned that services could have to be axed after another cut in Government funding.

The Government's grant to Sutton Council is to be cut from £79.6m in 2013/14 to £74.1m next year and £66.1m the year after that, the Government announced yesterday.

Councillor Ruth Dombey, leader of  Sutton Council, said the cutback has left the council with "difficult decisions to make" and criticised the Government for what she called a disingenuous approach to announcing reduction in funding.

She also called on funding given to London Mayor Boris Johnson for projects to be redistributed among councils.

The Government described the reduction in funding as a three per cent cut in average spending power but Coun Dombey said this does not paint the full picture as it also takes into account money raised through council tax but does not include the reduction in 2015/16.

She said: "Yet again the Government has failed to recognise the reality of delivering public services.

"It is simply disingenuous so say that it is only a 3 per cent reduction in funding when the reality is that it is 17 per cent.

"Local councils have shown that they can make more efficient use of public money when centrally held budgets are handed over to us.

"However, what we are seeing at the moment is even more power and funding being taken away.

"We have already made £32m of savings without front-line services being affected. There is no doubt that these further cuts will impact on the quality of life of our residents.

"We can only do so much with the money we have and, together with our residents, we are going to have to make some difficult decisions about the services they receive."

The cuts were announced by Chancellor George Osborne in his autumn statement.

Also in the statement he announced that London councils are to give £70m from their new homes bonus grants to the Mayor of London's office to use on social housing.

Coun Dombey added: "Yet again London boroughs are to lose out so that the mayor can get government funding for his own projects This grant was supposed to recognise the work authorities are doing to get much needed housing built but it is being raided from under our noses.

"Families and young people in Sutton desperately need more, affordable, housing to be built.

As a council we have campaigned hard to have the power to build these much needed homes.

While in his statement the chancellor has given councils some scope to build homes, the mayor has instead been given a significant chunk of the money councils in London would be able to use for new homes."

Comments (7)

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8:21am Mon 23 Dec 13

Giles C says...

Well. Mrs Dombey..you can start by not paying Chelsea football club £70 k a year and stop subsidising the life centre by £500 k a year.
Then there are the climate change officers,policy officers and equality and diversity officers all earning over £40 k a year.
It is also disingenuous to say that you didn't see this coming because thr 14/15 figures are in your published forecasts....
Stop bleating and get on with providing basic services rather than trying to be all things to all residents...
Well. Mrs Dombey..you can start by not paying Chelsea football club £70 k a year and stop subsidising the life centre by £500 k a year. Then there are the climate change officers,policy officers and equality and diversity officers all earning over £40 k a year. It is also disingenuous to say that you didn't see this coming because thr 14/15 figures are in your published forecasts.... Stop bleating and get on with providing basic services rather than trying to be all things to all residents... Giles C

12:34pm Mon 23 Dec 13

dave.artist says...

If this council can make £32 million cuts and still maintain frontline services, how much have our money have they wasted over the past years? I don't mind cuts to environmental and other green issues/scams and expensive bus shelters etc. Is the little bubble car still patrolling our streets looking to tax motorists for parking in arguably dodgy places? We have far too much government as it is and I think maybe this council has got too big for its boots! I hope UKIP weighs in on this one!
If this council can make £32 million cuts and still maintain frontline services, how much have our money have they wasted over the past years? I don't mind cuts to environmental and other green issues/scams and expensive bus shelters etc. Is the little bubble car still patrolling our streets looking to tax motorists for parking in arguably dodgy places? We have far too much government as it is and I think maybe this council has got too big for its boots! I hope UKIP weighs in on this one! dave.artist

1:11pm Mon 23 Dec 13

LiberalsOut says...

Cannot disagree with Giles and Dave above
Over 20 years of waste with this lot
If you cannot manage with the money you have, move over and let someone else have a go
Cannot disagree with Giles and Dave above Over 20 years of waste with this lot If you cannot manage with the money you have, move over and let someone else have a go LiberalsOut

1:17pm Mon 23 Dec 13

whysaythat says...

Giles C wrote:
Well. Mrs Dombey..you can start by not paying Chelsea football club £70 k a year and stop subsidising the life centre by £500 k a year.
Then there are the climate change officers,policy officers and equality and diversity officers all earning over £40 k a year.
It is also disingenuous to say that you didn't see this coming because thr 14/15 figures are in your published forecasts....
Stop bleating and get on with providing basic services rather than trying to be all things to all residents...
Exactly right. The amount of wastage on officer's is huge on 'non posts'. Locality officers being paid £42,000+ to pass a piece of paper from the left to the right? Officer's measuring air quality while the a road is being dug up causing traffic problems! ! Glad they are not in charge of my grocery budget, 'front line purchases like milk and bread would no doubt be removed.
[quote][p][bold]Giles C[/bold] wrote: Well. Mrs Dombey..you can start by not paying Chelsea football club £70 k a year and stop subsidising the life centre by £500 k a year. Then there are the climate change officers,policy officers and equality and diversity officers all earning over £40 k a year. It is also disingenuous to say that you didn't see this coming because thr 14/15 figures are in your published forecasts.... Stop bleating and get on with providing basic services rather than trying to be all things to all residents...[/p][/quote]Exactly right. The amount of wastage on officer's is huge on 'non posts'. Locality officers being paid £42,000+ to pass a piece of paper from the left to the right? Officer's measuring air quality while the a road is being dug up causing traffic problems! ! Glad they are not in charge of my grocery budget, 'front line purchases like milk and bread would no doubt be removed. whysaythat

2:23pm Mon 23 Dec 13

Sillygirl1 says...

Older people (in their 50's) who have lived and worked in Sutton for most of their lives are being pushed out of homes and jobs in the borough in favour of the young famiilies.

Trying to get a non-private property in Sutton when you are on a low wage is impossible, so you are almost forced to move away from your support network and become a burden on another council's social services.

Hopefully you will have enough secondary school places for these children so they won't be taught in portacabins, and enough after school activities to keep them off the streets, let alone housing when they come of age.
Older people (in their 50's) who have lived and worked in Sutton for most of their lives are being pushed out of homes and jobs in the borough in favour of the young famiilies. Trying to get a non-private property in Sutton when you are on a low wage is impossible, so you are almost forced to move away from your support network and become a burden on another council's social services. Hopefully you will have enough secondary school places for these children so they won't be taught in portacabins, and enough after school activities to keep them off the streets, let alone housing when they come of age. Sillygirl1

2:54pm Tue 24 Dec 13

fargis says...

dave.artist wrote:
If this council can make £32 million cuts and still maintain frontline services, how much have our money have they wasted over the past years? I don't mind cuts to environmental and other green issues/scams and expensive bus shelters etc. Is the little bubble car still patrolling our streets looking to tax motorists for parking in arguably dodgy places? We have far too much government as it is and I think maybe this council has got too big for its boots! I hope UKIP weighs in on this one!
Seems like you would prefer to breathe in lovely car fumes. BTW, 42,000 people die each year in London due to poor air quality. Many more are being supported by the NHS, all at great expense to you and me. Many green issues have deep economic implications. Sadly Sutton, like most of London, is stuck in a love/hate relationship with the car - which is private property so if you decide to park it illegally then expect to be fined.

You vote for UKIP, see how quickly they leave you and your family high and dry when you need help.
[quote][p][bold]dave.artist[/bold] wrote: If this council can make £32 million cuts and still maintain frontline services, how much have our money have they wasted over the past years? I don't mind cuts to environmental and other green issues/scams and expensive bus shelters etc. Is the little bubble car still patrolling our streets looking to tax motorists for parking in arguably dodgy places? We have far too much government as it is and I think maybe this council has got too big for its boots! I hope UKIP weighs in on this one![/p][/quote]Seems like you would prefer to breathe in lovely car fumes. BTW, 42,000 people die each year in London due to poor air quality. Many more are being supported by the NHS, all at great expense to you and me. Many green issues have deep economic implications. Sadly Sutton, like most of London, is stuck in a love/hate relationship with the car - which is private property so if you decide to park it illegally then expect to be fined. You vote for UKIP, see how quickly they leave you and your family high and dry when you need help. fargis

4:06pm Fri 27 Dec 13

Niki R says...

Thousands have been wasted on the ridiculous, ill-planned 'update' to Sutton High Street, they have given us the incinerator in our community, cut funding to support services like Home Start that prevented costly and traumatic intervention by social services, ignored residents who have challenged their decisions, betrayed young people in our Borough, penalised thousands with unfair parking fines, and they've lined their own pockets while achieving nothing- the sooner these treacherous, incompetent Lib Dem makeweights are out of office in May 2014 the better.
Thousands have been wasted on the ridiculous, ill-planned 'update' to Sutton High Street, they have given us the incinerator in our community, cut funding to support services like Home Start that prevented costly and traumatic intervention by social services, ignored residents who have challenged their decisions, betrayed young people in our Borough, penalised thousands with unfair parking fines, and they've lined their own pockets while achieving nothing- the sooner these treacherous, incompetent Lib Dem makeweights are out of office in May 2014 the better. Niki R

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