South West London boroughs incensed

A group of London boroughs have joined together to call on the government for an urgent rethink over the monies they are due to receive in the 2007 grant settlement and they have warned that, if the government does not act, residents in their part of London will face significant disadvantage in who pays for local services.

The four authorities from South West London, Merton, Sutton, Kingston upon Thames and Richmond upon Thames receive government grants which are significantly lower than other London Boroughs. Merton will receive a 2.7% increase in grant for 2007/2008, the minimum increase proposed by the Government.

The average increase for inner London boroughs is 3.6% and 3.2% for outer London boroughs.
Commenting on the recent finance settlement, Cllr Samantha George, Deputy Leader of Merton Council, said:

“The government’s recent announcement on funding amounts to a slap in the face for the residents of South West London. Once again the people who live in our four boroughs have received a very raw deal indeed. The government must rethink its proposals and deliver a fairer settlement.

“In Merton we are hugely disappointed with the recent announcement and residents are set to bear the brunt once more. Be very clear here – we are not looking for handouts – simply a fair treatment for the people of Merton.’