Hackney Mayor responds to Chancellor's Spending Round
Responding to Chancellor Sajid Javid’s announcements in today’s Spending Round, Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville said: “The Chancellor’s Spending Round does not end austerity or reverse the damage massive cuts in funding have caused local government services, and the communities which rely on them, since 2010. These short-termist sweeteners are too little, too late and will not address the long-term challenges that our residents are facing, and many are just existing funding announcements repackaged and include rises in Council Tax and business rates.
“It does nothing for the 13,000 families on our housing waiting list desperately in need of affordable, good quality, social homes. It doesn’t propose long term reform of Right to Buy and offers no meaningful assistance for local authorities to become social housebuilders. The increased funding for homelessness and rough sleeping is wholly inadequate for the scale of the challenge nor has the Government dealt with the damaging caps to Local Housing Allowance which continue to fuel homelessness.
“While additional resources for social care are welcome, this will not even come close to addressing ever-increasing demand and, significantly, the Social Care Green Paper is still nowhere in sight. Likewise, sufficient forward-thinking investment in public health services, including sexual health, which are essential to improving people’s lives, promoting independence and alleviating pressure on acute NHS and social care services, is sadly lacking.
“Extra money for schools is much-needed and will hopefully end the shameful need for teachers to have to ask parents to help pay for school supplies and facilities, but some estimates still show real terms cuts to Hackney schools, not the national leveling up promised by ministers. The SEND funding increase is also welcome, but one-off headline-grabbing windfalls like this do not provide a sustainable solution to ever increasing annual costs, or the reassurance parents desperately need; we still project a multi-million pound gap.
“Hackney has led the way with its work to protect the environment. Today’s environmental announcements are little more than a fig leaf to promote the Government’s “green” credentials. There is still no real or meaningful commitment to the green economy and Government has undermined funding for grassroots energy projects and consistently failed to legislate to introduce producer responsibility.
“Rather than a “new chapter for our public services”, austerity continues as Hackney and the public services we and our partners provide continue to have their budgets squeezed.”