Maintaining the service levels of London's police, fire and transport agencies will become increasingly difficult, London Assembly warns.

In its response to the Mayor's draft consultation budget for 2011/12, the assembly reveals the situation will become particularly challenging in the period after the 2012 Games. 

The response - by the Budget and Performance Committee on behalf of the assembly - says the capital's key services are facing year-on-year grant cuts and will have to find substantial additional savings each year until at least 2014/15 as a result. The Mayor is looking to protect front-line services from budget cuts but the sheer scale of the savings required will inevitably have an effect.   

John Biggs AM, Chair of the Budget and Performance Committee, said:
"Even with the measures outlined in the Mayor's draft budget to minimise the impacts of grant reductions, substantial savings will be required in all of the GLA organisations next year and beyond. 

"The Mayor is responsible for several of London's key services, allowing him to spread the effects of grant cuts across several large organisations. He has started to do this for 2011/12, but we want to see more evidence that the decisions he makes now are part of a long-term plan to protect services in London." 

Fireservices nationally are facing a 25 per cent cut in grant over the next four years, although the actual settlement figures for London are only known for the first two years. Next year's grant for London's fire services will be cut by £9 million and £10.9 million in savings must be found. However, larger cuts are anticipated in future years and the Fire and Rescue Service is beginning to look at how more substantial savings can be made. 

During its analysis of the Mayor's budget plans, the Committee heard about plans for reforming structures and service delivery, including sharing some back-office functions that will be needed if the organisations are to meet longer-term savings requirements. The response calls for additional information on future funding expectations and asks the Mayor to respond to questions about how the decisions he has made fit into a strategic plan for future budget decisions. 


Date posted: 25.01.11