Brent Council dealt new funding crisis

Cuts of 1.7 per cent nationally could see borough lose �2.5m worth of funding

Brent lose out on �2.5m worth of funding ahead of next year’s budget after it was announced local councils will have their spending power cut by 1.7 per cent.

The news comes as the council makes crucial decisions about its budget and what services it can continue to provide. The 2013/14 budget will be voted on in February of next year.

Council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt said the cut looked like it could be ‘disastrous’.

He said: “This looks like another disastrous settlement for local authorities. I spent the weekend helping out at the Brent food bank – helping people who literally can’t afford to eat.

“Make no mistake, Eric Pickles announcement today will mean they have to help thousands more people in Brent alone in 2013.

“It is a direct attack on the poorest residents of our community, and it is shameful.”

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However, the department for communities and local government, who control local council funding said authorities had been protected and that the cut is less than last year’s figure of 3.3 per cent.

Eric Pickles, Local government secretary, said: “Councils must keep doing their bit to tackle the inherited budget deficit because they account for a quarter of all public spending and still get through over �114 billion of taxpayers money each year.

“Today’s announcement is a fair funding deal that will reward councils ready to strive for their communities and gives them another year to get their house in order.”