Town Hall

Council budget cuts

National government has cut our funding in half since 2010 forcing us to make some tough choices about the services we support.

This means we have half as much to spend on essential services like keeping our streets clean, caring for older people and running children’s centres.

We're working hard to protect your services, but we face difficult choices about what we can provide.

Alongside other poor areas, we are one of the hardest-hit boroughs in the country. By 2017, we will have lost over £1,000 of funding for each household in Islington.

Despite having already made huge savings, we expect to have to make further deep cuts over the next three years. At the same time, demand for many local services continues to rise – for example, the government’s welfare reforms are causing more people to need help with local housing and debt advice services.

Where our money comes from

Islington Council provides over 600 services to our 206,000 residents including schools, services for vulnerable adults, support to local businesses, libraries, street cleaning and community safety.

Most council funding comes from national government, which is why their cuts have such a huge impact. Council tax accounts for only 11 per cent (£67million) of our income. This might sound like a lot of money, but it wouldn't even cover the annual budget for children's services, which includes major things like children's social care, fostering placements and services such as childcare and children's centres.

Tackling the challenge

Since 2010 we have saved about half of our budget with only a limited impact on front-line services. We have done this mainly by making the way we do things as efficient as possible, selling our services to bring in money and sharing services with other councils. 

We want to protect as many services as possible, but inevitably, not everything can stay the same. We remain committed to creating a fairer Islington and will do everything we can to focus resources to support residents who most need help. 

We also want to make sure we design and rethink our services around the people that use them, so that our services are joined up and residents can get what they need more quickly and efficiently. This makes the experience better for local people, and it also saves the council money. 

What we have done

Since 2010 we have saved about £150m with only a limited impact on front-line services. Some of the ways we have saved money are to: 

  • Encourage residents to contact us online rather than visiting or phoning our call centre. 
  • Develop our Cleaner Islington app to make it easier for residents to report environmental problems to us. 
  • Make better use of our office space so that we have been able to sell off buildings. 
  • Share services with other councils. 

Focusing on our priorities

We intend to protect as many services as possible, and any decisions we do make will be based on our priorities – creating a fairer Islington and helping residents find the right job, building more council housing, helping residents cope with the rising cost of living, delivering services on a tight budget and helping residents enjoy a good quality of life. 

Some of the ways were doing this include: 

  • Launching our new iWork service, which provides one-to-one coaching, mentoring and support to long-term unemployed residents to help them access training and work. 
  • Our new build housing programme, which will deliver 2,000 affordable homes by 2019. 
  • Our award-winning SHINE service, which supports residents facing fuel poverty. 

How can I help?

Please use the council’s website to contact us whenever possible. It’s cheaper for the council to process requests online than face-to-face – an online transaction costs roughly 32p compared to £7.40 in person. And it’s quicker and easier for residents too. 

It also really helps if you make sure you are recycling as much as you can. It costs £80 per tonne to send rubbish to landfill but only £15 per tonne to recycle it – and of course it is better for the environment. By recycling as much as you can, you can help save the council many thousands of pounds each year. 

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