Ahead of the emergency Budget on Friday, boroughs in the capital are seeking additional funding support for delivering vital services to Londoners during an extremely challenging period.
Pointing to the financial support package that helped local authorities through the Covid-19 pandemic, the cross-party group London Councils is calling for a similar response and close partnership between central and local government in the face of cost-of-living pressures.
London Councils, which represents all 32 boroughs and the City of London, warns that fast-rising costs and demand for services mean boroughs in the capital need to make £400m of savings this year, which could rise to £700m next year without an uplift in funding closer to the rate of inflation.
The representative group stresses London’s particular challenges, including the highest homelessness rates and fastest-rising private rents in the UK, as well as residents and businesses struggling with energy costs.
With both adult and children’s social care services under worsening pressure in the capital, boroughs are asking for immediate emergency funding. Boroughs argue bolstering social care provision is essential to maintaining London’s NHS performance – including through reducing delays in hospital discharges and freeing up beds for those who need them most.
However, London Councils is also urging action on longer-term issues facing the capital and wider country, such as delivering net zero and securing greater devolution for local communities. Boroughs emphasise the vital role London can play in driving economic recovery and supporting a range of government ambitions.
Cllr Georgia Gould, Chair of London Councils, said:
“With thousands of Londoners already struggling to make ends meet, the government has a critical opportunity to announce further help for households and the services they rely on.
“Councils are already providing a safety net to communities and doing all they can support people who are struggling. Financial support from the government for councils is crucial for continuing this work. Boroughs stand ready to work with the government to find long-term solutions to support our residents and businesses in the capital.”