Sunday, 4 July 2010

Lewisham council proposed cuts in public services

A post on the Blackheath Bugle has highlighted plans by Lewisham Council to save money by closing five of its smaller libraries. The Bugle is concerned because one of the libraries proposed to be closed is Blackheath - but New Cross library is also on the threatened list along with Sydenham, Crofton Park and Grove Park.

The document which contains this proposal is part of a very long report detailing the £32 million potential savings it has identified for the next three years. It will be discussed at the Public Accounts Committee meeting on 13 July, and you can read the full details here.

The appendices which contain the nitty gritty are very long and somewhat tedious to read, but I recommend at least having a flick through if you are a regular user of any particular support system provided by the council - meals on wheels, social care for children, support for vulnerable adults etc. The proposed cuts are fairly wide ranging, and not surprisingly include substantial job losses - from outsourcing of work such as transport design and not recruiting for empty posts, to direct redundancies.

For those not directly impacted, one of the most obvious results of the proposed cuts looks likely to be dirtier streets - something Deptford could certainly do without!

As well as ceasing night-time collections of trade waste and waste from flats above shops in high streets and shopping centres, the council will cease use of 'night brooms' - heavy duty cleaning machines that are used at quiet times to clean along the central reservation and so on - and will stop spraying weeds on pavements and streets. Instead of the latter, street sweepers will be expected to pull the weeds up by hand. Several other cleaning machine types will also be taken off the streets and Sunday morning sweeping/street litter recycling will also be ceased.

Also under the 'environmental' umbrella, the council is proposing to close ALL the borough's automated toilets - so Deptford would be left without an out-of-hours public convenience, despite having just had two shiny new toilets installed in Giffin Square.

Additionally there will be a charge introduced for new wheelie bins - if yours gets stolen will have to pay £20 for a new one. Or just put your rubbish on the street of course, adding to the general impression of grot in the borough.

Along with a reduction in quality of our streets, the spaces which we go to relax are also being targeted. The borough's parks investment programme set to be cut by a third every year for the next three years.

1 comment:

eleanargh said...

I want to cry (and give all council workers a hug):