Northern council defends spending cuts as it prepares to ljarvees.comose a fifth of its staff in 10 years
By Tom Worsley
Hammersmith and Fulham council has announced cuts of up to £1.1m this year in its emergency funding plan in an attempt to pay for a further two and a half years of cuts to services.
The council has spent up to £8.3m less in this financial year than planned for 2015-16. The decision to cut staff follows the council’s annual reviews of spending, as well as its annual review of housing costs for 2012-13.
While budgets have been reduced for the coming year, they were not in line with targets.
The council has said it is being forced to make further redundancies, with three positions expected to go on permanent redundancy. It will also be lo?????sing its one in-house housi?????ng development, which will also cost £1.1m.
Speaking to City AM, head of business development Matt Fenton said the council will try to come back in touch with tenants during the transition, because it is a “lagging game”.
He said: “We want tenants who don’t like to stay in the area to leave and we will make them aware of what needs to be done so that they know what they can expect. We’ve received a lot of feedback and the majority of tenants have been really supportive.
“We think they will be able to understand the reason for the cuts and they won’t get hurt or feel they are being deprived of the services that they come to us to use. It’s not up to us to get rid of them, we have to change how we respond to them.”
Fenton told City AM that the council was trying to be in the loop on changes to housing, as the “majority of families need a home”. He said: “We have been telling the tenants in our services to get in touch with us for up to 30 days prior to any plans for changes.
“We are in the process of trying to keep in touch with the tenants to assess how it is going to look. We will look to work closely with them over the coming weeks, months and years.”
He said that more staff would also be in action in 2015-16 to cope with the impact of the reduction in spending, which will have an effect on the council’s current service levels of housing management and home support.
There are 591 residents affected by the cuts in the distric