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City Matters 128

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City Matters

07 April - 11 May 2021 Edition 128 Find your regular copy inside... The City of London’s independent newspaper with 45,000 READERS VIRTUAL OUTDOOR BINGO DINING PARTIES GUIDE Front-line City Police services force spend faces £5.6m is protected cuts Council Report updating tax freeze budget also announced deficit outlined by City planned Corporation’s ‘deletion Court of 37 posts’ of Common to save £2.3m, Council to as be members agreed by agree Home budget Office THE police force which looks after the Square Mile is likely to lose 37 jobs out of 961 officers, to help cut a £5.6milion budget deficit, writes Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter. The size of the deficit has more than doubled from the £2.4m predicted in December. However, the force had 840 officers and 518 staff in 2020 when the current policing plan was drawn up. The City of London Police Force is partialy funded by the City of London Corporation and is the national lead force for investigating fraud, including the growth in online fraud. It has a net budget of £85m for the next financial year. A report updating the budget deficit outlined the planned “deletion of 37 posts” to save £2.3m which wi l have to be agreed by the Home Office. This fo lows a 12% reduction in funding from the City of London Corporation. The job losses are in addition to 40 vacant policing posts, saving £2.4m. The force also expects 136 officers wi l retire over the next five years. Last year the force had to save MOTHER’S OPEN-AIR FITNESS DAY MEAL CLASSES KITS The Square Dabbers Mile restaurants bingo hall & used bars to You Gyms may are not reopening, be able to buvisit there be are fu ready l of Mi to lennials, accept guests but since again mum are plenty in person, of outdoor but you classes can in going as they online, transform their their over-the-top al fresco sti and l order around some the local City, for restaurantquality who stifood l aren’t to ready be delivered to sweat right it those games dining spaces are loved for by an aeasing l kinds of of people restrictions around Pages the 10-13 UK Page 9 to out her indoors this Pages year 14 Page & 1512 10 07 Mar Apr - 11 06 May Apr 2021 The City of London’s independent newspaper with 45,000 READERS Edition 128 127 THE Court of Common Council has agreed to protect spending on social care, rough sleeping and academies as part of an effor to ensure the organisation’s finances remain on a sustainable footing over the medium-term. Elected Members discussed a number of proposals relating to the City Corporation’s 2021/22 budget amid a cha lenging economic outlook, which has led to significant lost income due to the closure of many services and facilities – including, in particular, the Barbican Centre. At a virtual meeting, councilors agreed an increase in the adult social care precept of 3.00% from 1 April 2021, to help in meeting additional social care costs during the pandemic. They also announced that council tax wi l otherwise be frozen in 2021/22. However, that does not prevent a Government-enforced three per cent council tax rise for every local authority in the country. UK councils had the option to raise tax by a further two per cent, but the City Corporation declined. Business rates premiums – used to support the City of London Police, security and contingency planning activity within the Square Mile at an enhanced level – wi l City of London Police is facing cuts Social care is secured also be frozen at 0.8p in the pound in 2021/22 given the impact of Covid-19 on City businesses. Elected Members have also decided partia ly to protect the Community and Children’s Services budget, which wi l see a reduction of 6% in 2021/22. £5.7m, including trimming £1.6m from pay and meant the loss of 16 jobs. It has also saved £1.1m through the closure of Snow Hi l and This compares to 12% budget reductions across other services areas in 2021/22. In 2021/22, the City wi l also be implementing a new target operating model, enabling substantial organisational efficiencies. Chairman of the Finance Commitee, Jeremy Mayhew, said: “Elected Members today agreed to act prudently, strongly reinforcing, over the medium-term, the sustainability of our finances. “These tough decisions are crucial given the continuing financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertain economic outlook. “It is vital that the City Corporation has a robust financial plan, so that we can continue to provide high quality, efficient services for workers, residents and visitors. “We are commited to building back be ter and ensuring the Square Mile flourishes for generations to come.” Wood Street police stations in recen times. The police force’s chief financial officer, Cecile Booth, warned of future pressures, including a £7m cut to the counter terrorism budget, which is the equivalent of 20 posts over a five-year period. Counter terrorism is one of the force’s priorities as the Square Mile includes major financial institutions, including the London Stock Exchange, along with key tourist attractions. In 2019 two people were ki led in a terror attack which started at Fishmonger’s Ha l just near London Bridge. And Ms Booth warned that in future the £2m grant from Transport for London (TfL) for roadside policing might be affected in the future. The transport body has been hard hit through loss of income because of the pandemic but it said the grant for 2021/22 wi l continue a the same rate. Londoners Q1 confidence with ‘long the Covid’ rise P6 P3 Psychedelic street art P8 City’s culture plans for 2021 P10 & 11 New Life-line funding for the for Kiln isolated Theatre P17 P17

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