Rachel you may have seen on the news the statement from the Minister today reconfirming the Comprehensive Spending Review for local government, that:So. Chris, are you saying that unless we pay for them ourselves there will be no new Christmas lights anywhere in Lewisham for the next 20-odd years?
• funding changes between now and 2019/20 to phase out revenue support grant,
• allocate 100% of business rates (retaining a tariff and top up system),
• allow an additional 2% annual rise in Council Tax to fund social care,
• increase the Better Care Fund by £1.5bn by 2019/20 to fund extra social care costs (including some savings from changes to the New Homes Bonus), and
• consult on developing further new responsibilities to local government.
For Lewisham this means a 24% reduction in funding over the four years from today's position without allowing for any inflation, growth or pressures adding to the cost base. We will be moving from the current £160m in 2015/16 to:
• 16/17 £147m (-8%)
• 17/18 £135m (-8%)
• 18/19 £128m (-5%)
• 19/20 £122m (-5%)
I think renewing Christmas lights is going to be on the low priority list for the next 4 years as we will be doing all we can to protect the most vulnerable in our community. We don't know how much we will receive from the increase in the Better Care Fund but we do know that we have a population that is living longer with complex medical needs.