Letter To The Editor

March 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm / by

In response to Councillor Don Williams’ letter in the local papers, I have responded and clarified the level of funding that is being cut from Camden’s overall budget.

You can read my letter here:

Dear Editor

It is no secret that local councillors are making extremely difficult decisions on the future of services in Camden. The pressure on local government budgets from national government is immense and unprecedented. However, it is simply not acceptable for opposition councillors to mislead constituents about the funding shortfall.

Councillor Don Williams claims in his letter last week that 25% of library funding is being cut over the next three years whereas the overall reduction in government funding is 10% of Camden’s spending. This is, in a word, inaccurate. The overall reduction to Camden’s spending is not 10%. Over the 4 years of the spending review period, central government support to local government is estimated to fall by at least 26%.

It is erroneous to compare the figure for reductions in library service over the next 3 years to the figure for government grants for one year.

Councillor Williams is fully aware that we are currently pursuing the kinds of innovative solutions he has listed, including encouraging volunteering. He is also aware that we have already taken out £400,000 from the library service through efficiencies such as reduced back office, shared procurement for stock etc.

In these tough economic times, our aim should be to pull together regardless of political affiliation and work collectively for our constituents. This should not be a time to indulge in (deceptive) political point scoring.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Tulip Siddiq
Cabinet member for culture