Around Ealing February 2018 | Page 4

UP FRONT: BUDGET Bridging gap while building future Ealing Council has to close a budget gap of more than £73million over the next four years, which has led the council to take on this challenge in innovative ways. T here is a national, and local, background of rising costs and increasing demand for services, especially in social care, and dramatic cuts in councils’ funding from central government. Councillor Johnson: ‘This smarter working will help us find our best path through these intensely difficult times’ £73m THE BUDGET GAP The accumulated effect of public funding austerity measures, introduced since 2010, will mean the council will have £143million less government funding to spend on local services in 2021 than it did at the start of this decade. This is the equivalent of a 64% drop in government funding, which is a greater cut than both the London and national average. This bleak picture will not go away in the coming years; and the council eventually expects to have made a staggering £265million of savings between 2010 and 2021. Councillor Yvonne Johnson, the council’s cabinet member for finance, performance and customer services, said: “This cut, along with a series of other factors including an ageing population, rising costs and increasing demand for social care services, means that the council has no choice but to rethink the way that it pays for and delivers local services. But our response to this challenge is a positive one. budget gap 4 around ealing    February 2018 64% drop in funding ‘POSITIVE CHANGES FOR THE FUTURE’ “The council has embarked on an ambitious programme to transform the way it works. Future Ealing seeks to improve the lives of local people by prioritising the council’s limited resources against nine key aims [see October’s Around Ealing at]. Protecting the borough’s most vulnerable residents is central to this programme.