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Time to pull in belt as East End goes £8m in the red

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:20 05 October 2010

TOWN Hall bosses in London’s deprived East End are having to tighten their belts after being warned they face going into the red by £8 million. Tower Hamlets Council has been warned of a projected overspend of up to £4m in housing budget alone, for repairs and maintenance

By Julia Gregory

TOWN Hall bosses in London’s deprived East End are having to tighten their belts after being warned they face going into the red by £8 million.

A report by Tower Hamlets Council’s chief finance officer warns of a projected overspend of up to £4m in housing budget alone, with the main costs racking up in repairs and maintenance.

Overspending is predicted in social services across the board, including health and wellbeing, children, schools and families.

These include agency fees to cover staff vacancies and sickness in children’s social services.

The authority is facing a recession downturn in advertising revenue for its newspaper East End Life’. The Town Hall has also had to shell out £300,000 payoffs for three senior officers in the last six months, including former chief executive Martin Smith.

The Labour-run authority has already announced that council tax is being frozen next year, which Opposition Tory members say leaves accountants “little wriggle room.”

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