Council chosen for new families role

Published: Thursday 21st October 10

Council leader Edward Lister says Wandsworth will seize the opportunities offered by the Coalition Government to explore new ways of delivering public services.

Speaking at last night's council meeting Cllr Lister said the comprehensive spending review had spelt out the challenges facing local government:

"Now we're starting to see the back of all the quangos, the government targets and the ring-fenced budgets we have a chance to get on with the real job of a local council.

"Every single one of these announcements reduces the budget deficit a little more and  every one of them makes for better, more accountable government."

The Treasury announced yesterday that Wandsworth had been selected as one of 16 councils in the country to pilot the new Community Budgets.

The council will be working with Westminster , Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham on new approaches for getting people back into work and families off benefits.

Cllr Lister said:

"This is just the kind of work we should be doing. Cutting through the red tape and making a difference to people's lives. We've been lobbying for more help to tackle worklessness. We'll be keen to see the detail of the new plans but right now we can't wait to get started."

The full impact of yesterday's spending review will become clearer in December following the local government grant settlement.

Councillors last night backed proposals aimed at saving £55m over a four year period.

The council Cllr Lister repeated his promise to be open with council staff and local residents about the reasons for the changes:

"We have a duty towards our employees and we have a duty towards our residents. The best protection we can give to everyone is to make sure we have a sustainable body of services."






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