Manifesto Budget

Creating a city that works for all

At the last Council Assembly that set the budget for the forthcoming year, we presented an alternative budget that amounted to efficiency savings and revenue generation totalling £4 million.

All local government budgets – including amendments – have to be signed off by independent finance officers as balanced and deliverable. 

It is on this basis that we know we can fully fund all our commitments. These are not one-off sources of revenue, but year-on-year savings and investments.

There are additional sources of revenue we believe are perfectly possible. For example, if the number of empty homes (currently more than neighbouring Tower Hamlets, Lambeth and Lewisham combined) were to come down to the London average, then that would increase revenue substantially. As we cannot know for sure how much however, we have not included it in our costings, which have been estimated conservatively throughout. 

Here is a break down of our spending, savings and revenue raisings:





More Police Officers

Southwark loses a police officer a week. We will directly fund more police officers on the beat



Specialist Crime Unit

With the cuts to police officers, the police force has become much more re-active. This unit will pro-actively target Knife and Moped crime with long-term specialist investigations



Invest in young people

Invest in youth centres and youth work, through consultation with young people and providers



Green infrastructure projects

These will often be spend-to-save, such as installing solar panels on council homes. Other costs will be to build electric charge point network.





Total: £3.96m



Savings and new revenue: pet projects, waste, creativity





Pet projects



Cut Council propaganda

Southwark Life is a Labour pet project and a waste of money



Reduce Councillors' allowances

There has been no reduction in Special Responsibility Allowances since 2010. Councillors should see a reduction of 5.99% as they are trying to increase council tax by this amount



Scrap golden goodbyes

It is not acceptable that Labour Cabinet members receive pay offs while residents have to pay more in council tax



Reverse the increase in Labour Councillors' jobs

Labour has increased cabinet posts since taking office. Liberal Democrats would cut two Cabinet posts and all four Deputy Cabinet posts



Stop Spindoctors

The council shouldn't be spending money on promoting itself whilst cutting front line services



Waste at the town hall



Cut luxuries at the town hall

Liberal Democrats would stop wasting public money on catering, flowers and plastic cups



Cut waste on stationery

Impose a cap on stationery use



Cut polluting perks

End employee car leases and cash payments for senior staff



Cut use of agencies

Reduce costly use of agency workers


Cut hotel and travel costs

Reduce costs on travel and accommodation and incentivise greener options







Allowing employees to buy annual leave

Scheme for employees to buy annual leave as happens at many other councils. Good for employees and for council finances



Smart meters

Install more smart meters. Create room-by-room incentives for energy saving.


Cleaning and office hours

Mon-Wed-Fri general office cleaning. High priority cleaning daily. Close top 4 floors of Tooley St at 18.00 to reduce facilities costs and increase staff productivity. Late working on request.



Licensing for private landlords

Expand property licensing to the entire borough, as in Newham




Collect council tax properly

Liberal Democrat boroughs are able to collect 99% of council tax. Southwark should be collecting 98% at the very least




Late night levy

Bars and pubs which create litter and nuisance should contribute to the costs in that community, like they do in Islington




Workplace parking levy

Pilot a scheme and encourage greener travel where employers (excluding schools or hospitals) with four or more parking spaces pay a levy



Reduce contingency fund

Reduce contingency from £4m to £3.5m




Total: £3.96m