More cuts on way for transport and police, warns London Assembly

CUTS to emergency services and public transport are going to get worse over the next four years, the London Assembly warns today.

Transport for London alone loses �2.17 billion between now and 2015, while the Met Police Authority is being forced to find an additional �61 million cuts to balance its budget in addition to �158m already being axed—which could affect the number of bobbies on the beat.

The situation gets worse after the 2012 Olympics being staged in East London, the Assembly reveals in its formal response to Boris Johnson’s draft consultation budget for the coming year.

The Assembly’s budget committee, chaired by East London member John Biggs, warns that key services are facing year-on-year cuts and will have to find additional savings until at least 2015.

“This year’s draft budget has clearly worked hard to mitigate the impact of budget cuts,” said Mr Biggs.

“But as these bite deeper, Londoners will feel their effects more and more.

“We want to see more evidence that decisions the mayor makes now are part of a long-term plan to protect services in London.”

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The biggest challenge to the police comes in 2013-14, when they will need “a wholly different way of supporting the front line” in order to find the savings needed, the budget committee was told by Deputy Commissioner Tim Godwin earlier this month. The police authority is already predicting fewer officers.

Public transport could be even worse, with Transport for London facing a cut of �2.17bn over the next four years.

TfL is already committed to saving �5bn in the next seven years—but this additional cut means it will need to save a total of �7.2bn, by cutting 8.2 per cent from its budget.