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Let's talk about... how the council spends your money

Community conversation

What we did before – the Southwark spending challenge 2014/15

Feedback on the Spending Challenge 2013

Following on from the Spending Challenge community conversation that took place between August and October 2013, the council has announced its draft budget for the next financial year.

The council would like to highlight that the budget reflects the priorities and concerns voiced by local people, who said that they wanted to protect or increase spending on frontline services like children's services, but decrease spending on back office functions.

For example, the budget:


  • Protects Children's and Adults Services with only £1.9m reduction (less than 1 per cent)
  • Protects Environment and Social Regeneration (responsible for Environment and Culture, Libraries & Leisure) with a £0.5m reduction (less than 1 per cent)
  • Puts £9.4m of commitments and inflation into Children's and Adult Service (4 per cent)
  • Puts £1.7m of commitments and inflation into Culture, Libraries and Leisure (2 per cent)
  • Makes savings of £3.4m (5.0 per cent) from central support services
  • Makes savings of £6.6m in corporate budgets (11 per cent)
  • Focuses savings on corporate and strategic services rather than direct service provision


We are very grateful to everyone who took the time to take part in this consultation, either at an event, meeting, workshop or online.

The full draft budget report was approved by Council Assembly on 26 February 2014 and can be found here

The full budget announcement can found here

What was the Spending Challenge?

From August - October 2013 Southwark Council invited residents to have their say on how the council should set its budget.

The council is facing difficult decisions due to continued reductions in government spending and increasing demand for our services. For 2014/15 there is a £26.9m budget gap and more savings to come in future years.

Nevertheless, the council remains committed to ensuring all residents, businesses, and voluntary and community sector groups can make the most of the many opportunities that the borough has to offer.

The council therefore restarted the community conversation begun three years ago, and has welcomed the influence of local people on council spending priorities for two financial years, 2014/15 and 2015/16.

The engagement plan included the following:


  • Community conversation events held at venues across the borough
  • Presentations and consultation exercises at Community Councils
  • Consultation events with older people, young people and disabled people
  • Meetings with the voluntary sector
  • On-line consultation


What you told us

516 people that took part in Spending Challenge between August and October 2013. Broadly, the feedback highlighted that:


  • Residents wanted to protect services and Children’s Services and Adult Services
  • Residents wanted to reduce funding in the area of Central and Support Services
  • Residents supported services which they personally relied on, or had experience of e.g. the Pensioners Forum overwhelmingly wanted to protect Adult Services, whilst the Youth Councils clearly favoured Children’s Services


Here is the full consultation results report which gives a full breakdown of the consultation events and the feedback received.


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Southwark Council
PO BOX 64529
London SE1P 5LX

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