Questions and answers
To help you to understand more about our financial future, we have put together the questions and answers below.
We’ll update this page regularly as more information becomes available.
How big is the cut to the Council’s funding?
By 2018/19 our like for like funding from government will
have been cut in half.
We reduced our budget by £93 million across the Council between 2010/11 and 2014/15 and by an additional £30 million in 2015/16, while continuing to deliver quality services to local people, build new homes and get young people into work.
However, further cuts to government funding alongside other social pressures – including an ageing population and continual increases in the cost of living – have left us with further budget pressures. We therefore need to reduce our budget by an additional £48 million over the next two years, as part of our 2015-18 savings programme totalling £78 million.
Have any decisions been made so far about where cuts will be made?
In some cases, yes, decisions have been made. You can read about these on the Changes to Services pages.
In other areas, we are in the process of carrying out formal consultations to gather your views. Your views are important to us and in many cases, even where formal consultation isn’t required, we will ask for your input and opinions to shape future services.
When can residents expect to see changes to services?
These will be staggered. We have a three year financial strategy with changes spread from 2015 until 2017/18.
We have phased changes because we need to fundamentally change the way we provide
some services and this takes time to do in an informed way. When we spoke to residents
during our engagement phase in 2014 they told us that we needed to make the Council
more efficient before we looked at front-line services so many of the early changes
were more focused on back-office savings.
Did the input from the engagement exercise actually contribute to developing the savings proposals?
Yes. Many different views were put forward, but all of the insight from the engagement discussions was considered by officers and councillors in the development of the savings proposals. For example, your views were reflected in areas such as protecting investment in 25 hours of childcare.
You can read about these in this report here, which includes a detailed summary of what people told us.
Are there any areas where you’re protecting spending?
Yes. Some areas, which you can see in this table here, were ruled out for a variety of reasons, including:
• It would have a significantly detrimental impact on the community,
• It would be too difficult to save money without having a detrimental impact on the community.
• The proposal would cost more to implement than it would save.
• The saving would be dependent on a number of other changes to services being implemented before it could be realised so put forward for future development.
As with those services where we have recently agreed a reduction in budget, we are likely to revisit some of these proposals or particular elements because of the long-term budget pressures we know we will face in 2018 from further government funding cuts.
You’ve already had to make savings of £93 million. How are you going to find a further £78 million in savings just a few years later?
We will have to deliver services differently and make hard choices about where we spend our money. Some services will have to change or stop so we can continue to deliver for less.
We have, however, agreed £30 million of back-office savings (including reducing
the numbers of managers and agency staff) that contribute towards our £78 million
programme of savings.
Will jobs at Camden Council be affected?
Yes. We have to make tough choices and, as part of the challenge facing us we are making sure our workforce is as efficient as possible. It is likely that 200 management posts will be removed out of a baseline of 890 management positions.
The size of our challenge unfortunately means a reduction in staff numbers is inevitable, but this will only ever be as a last resort and we will always look for ways to support those staff affected. Wherever possible redundancies will be minimised through measures such as not replacing some roles and covering some roles with temporary workers.