Friday, December 17, 2010

Join us against government cuts to London

"Following the Local Government Finance Settlement it's clear London has suffered a raw deal, with its councils facing average cuts of 11.25 per cent. The average for the rest of England is 9.93 per cent. So much for Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson's claim to have mounted a ‘Stalingrad like defence' of funding for London.

We must be clear - the size and the speed of these cuts are a choice the Conservative-led government is making. Councils in London are being forced into making the heaviest cuts in the next year because of the decisions taken by George Osborne and Eric Pickles, damaging frontline services and putting jobs and the recovery at risk.

Our first responsibility is to protect the communities we serve, pressing the government to abandon its course and minimising the pain of the government's cuts for residents. However the scale of the cuts in funding for councils is so big that in many cases this will not be enough to protect many vital services.

There is little doubt that local government cuts of this size, imposed this quickly and frontloaded in the first year will hit many of the important frontline services families and communities rely on. Roads already damaged last winter could go unrepaired this year too. Potholes could go unfixed, pavements unswept. Streetlights will be turned off. Youth clubs will close. Libraries will shut down. As more people than ever need help with social care, fewer will find their local council able to help.

Whether from local government, Parliament, City Hall, the trade unions or local Labour parties, London Labour's approach will be based on uniting everyone in London opposed to the way the government has handed these cuts to councils and focusing our campaign where it deserves to be focused - on the government.

We urge the government to carefully reconsider the serious impact of policies on the quality of life of millions of Londoners, rethink the settlement and give the capital a fair deal."

Yours sincerely (this email signed by every leader in London Labour)
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