Merton tackles tough financial challenge

The London Borough of Merton has reaffirmed its commitment to provide quality services that meet the needs of the community, despite the challenging draft budget report that was put to the Council’s Cabinet last night.

Merton must save more than £14 million across all departments over the next financial year, despite having in previous years, made over £12 million of cashable efficiency gains across all departments.

The report sets out proposals to close that gap, however, £6.9 million in savings still needs to be found, with potential sources being considered over the next two months, and an increase in council tax likely.

The tough financial outlook is due to an expected freeze in the amount of Government grant the borough receives and an increasing demand on services.

Cabinet member for Corporate Services, Councillor Samantha George, says: “We are looking at more efficient ways of doing things as an organisation, and to be fitter, faster and focused, while protecting the services we provide to our residents. The needs of our residents come first and this has been at the forefront of our minds throughout the budget making decision process.’