Fears for services as London faces cuts

Fears for services as London faces cuts London councils have urged
the government to reconsider changes to the local authority grant
distribution formula that could leave social services in the
capital £300m worse off.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister this week revealed options
for changing the way councils are funded, as part of a move towards
three-year grant settlements.

The new funding system will be introduced in 2006-7 following
consultation on the options.

Some of the options under consideration would lead to a £188m
cut in children’s social services for London boroughs and a
£150m cut in younger adult social services.

The Association of London Government has calculated that Kensington
and Chelsea Council faces a 51 per cent cut in children’s social
services funding.

It believes the main reason for the cuts is a change in the formula
that would remove the indicator measuring the number of children
living in flats. It says about 32 per cent of children live in
flats in London, compared with only 4 per cent in the rest of

ALG chair Sir Robin Wales said: “There is no conceivable
justification for slashing social services in areas where 48 per
cent of children live in poverty, the highest rate in

While London and the South East generally loses out, shire and
metropolitan authorities in other parts of the country broadly
benefit from the proposed options.

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