Cllr Alan Hall delivered his budget speech to Lewisham Council on Wednesday, 21st February 2018
He said: –
“Last year, I said ‘No-one likes us we don’t care – this isn’t the motto of the London Borough of Lewisham.
We do care.
In this budget we will agree a Care Leavers’ Exemption to Council Tax. This will mean that any care leaver resident in Lewisham will not have to pay Council Tax until they reach 25 years old. See the Children’s Society
In this budget, there is a tabled addendum outlining the Mayor’s decision to halt the cuts to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – known as CAHMS – previously agreed.
It should be noted that Lewisham CCG and SLAM will have to have a conversation with the Council about their budgets to CAHMS too.
Making decisions with evidence and reviewing demand is the right decision.
It’s good to listen.
We – as Lewisham Council – will be increasing Council Tax – there is little choice with the relentless tory government cuts.
This is a balanced budget. Lewisham Council has balanced its books.
We have to use “once off resources” again this year.
There are no Section 114 Notices here unlike tory Northamptonshire County Council.
It is right that we are dipping into our reserves before making cuts so we can look to transform services – make partnerships work across the borough to provide services more co-operatively and try to protect the most vulnerable.
Lewisham Council prides itself in its partnerships.
Phoenix Community Housing – now building and letting social and extra care housing is a good example.
An organisation committed to our borough and our residents.
Lewisham Hospital is under unprecedented pressures – As King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust goes into ‘special measures’ we will have to be watchful.
When King’s College Hospital catches a cold, Lewisham Hospital gets pneumonia.
We will have to work with partners in the voluntary sector like Lewisham’s Credit Union.
Lewisham Plus Credit Union will celebrate 25 years in our borough this week.
Lewisham Council will need to listen to our partners to effect the changes we need to make.
The challenges before us are immense. The budget will have to be reduced significantly over the next four years. Because –
The Government chose austerity over growth.
Our budget is the expression of our priorities. We must work with Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and the Shadow Cabinet. And then, we will –
We will build social homes
We will support the vulnerable in our community
We will work in partnership
As Lewisham listens.
Lewisham – the listening Council.
Lewisham – a community Council.
The full budget papers and agenda are here
.@LewishamCouncil is listening to young care leavers and hearing their need for support. They've already exempted care leavers from paying council tax, has your council done the same? ➡️➡️ https://t.co/huh26GtU45 https://t.co/FawUevGt46
— Children's Society (@childrensociety) February 22, 2018