Brent Council may make more cuts to balance their books

Town hall bosses have already cut libraries, day care centres and park wardens

It is feared more cuts are on the way and council tax could increase as Brent Council admits it is struggling to balance its books.

A report to be presented next week reveals the Labour-run local authority is predicted to have an overspend of �1.8 million by the end of the financial year. It says it cannot dip into its �9.7million reserves, which means council chiefs will have to find the money elsewhere.

The authority has already closed half of the borough’s libraries, day care centres for people with learning difficulties and a care home for people with dementia. Park wardens have been made redundant and street sweeping cut back.

Two nurseries, Treetops and Harmony, face closure and hundreds of people have already lost their jobs.

Sarah Cox, from campaign group Brent Fightback, said: “It is very scary. What else is there left to cut? The council is just pushing these Government cuts through without any resistance.

“I don’t envy any councillor wrestling with this budget. But I don’t think it has been dealt with in a sensitive way. People don’t trust them any more.”

Most Read

The council has to make �104million of cuts by 2014. But the local authority will lose an annual grant of �2.6million from central government if council tax is increased.

Council tenants could also face a seven per cent rent hike next year while fees and charges for council services are expected to rise by two per cent.

Cllr Ann John OBE, the council leader, said: “The council has over the last year been forced to take a number of difficult decisions. This administration did not seek election on a platform of massive cuts. However, the target set by government means that major cuts in services are inevitable.”

A final decision will be made on February 27 next year.