Barking and Dagenham deputy leader says hard times are ahead

PUBLISHED: 09:39 11 June 2015 | UPDATED: 09:39 11 June 2015

Cllr Dominic Twomey warned that Tory reforms would bring challenges

Cllr Dominic Twomey warned that Tory reforms would bring challenges


Deputy council leader Dominic Twomey warned colleagues that the council faces an uncertain financial future in which things will get “a lot worse”.

His comments came as part of a review of Barking and Dagenham Council’s provisional revenue and capital outturn for 2014-15 – which revealed an underspend of £70,000 in the General Fund.

“Even though we have been incredibly prudent, we have underspent by £70,000,” he told a cabinet meeting on June 2. “With welfare reform about to be ramped up who knows where we will be in two years’ time.

“All in all, things are going to get a lot worse.”

He said that further austerity from the government would mean the borough having to make more savings, and even said the council’s reserves may have to foot the bill.

“It’s going to be a very difficult year,” he concluded.

Cllr Maureen Worby agreed that welfare reforms posed a danger to people who live in the borough.

“Changes to benefits cannot be underestimated,” she said. “We do not have one resident that will be able to afford to pay affordable rent unless they are in full-time employment.”

And leader Cllr Darren Rodwell said spending should consider those hit hardest by Tory economic policy.

“We need to be mindful we are taking about the most vulnerable,” he said.

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