A recent report published by Labour run Southwark Council has highlighted significant financial mismanagement after it was revealed that it utilised over £27 million of Southwark’s depleting reserves in the last financial year.
The report, published at last week’s Cabinet meeting, also outlined how the council faces a potential £19 million budget gap next year. This figure is particularly concerning owing to Council’s aforementioned diminishing reserves and uncertainty surrounding inflation.
Owing to the significant budget gap, the report raises the possibility of an increase in council tax across Southwark. This would be the second year in a row that council tax would rise. Southwark Liberal Democrats, in their alternative budget earlier this year, committed to not raising council tax opposing their Labour counterparts.
Councillor Anood Al-Samerai, Liberal Democrats Group Leader in Southwark, said:
“With over £27 million of council reserves raided last year, it is clear that Southwark Labour does not have a handle of its finances. Part of Labour’s mismanagement is the unrelenting pursuit of wasteful and egotistical policies. Staring down a huge financial black hole, they are continuing to waste money on vanity projects such as handing over a £1 million to the Tate Modern and wasting precious capital on removing a full stop from the Council’s logo.”
“In addition, they are considering the possibility of raising council tax for a second year in a row hitting hard working families in this borough. Hoping to cover up their complete and utter financial mismanagement through tax rises is unfair and we will stand up for local residents against this unacceptable policy.”