The future financial health of Lewisham was embedded somewhere in today's Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR07). In particular the section for Local Government is interesting.
Headline figures from the CSR include:
Departmental Expenditure Limit to grow by 1% per annum in real terms (ie after inflation) for the next five years - unfortunately this has already been planned for so does not really give additional cash for local services
Proposals to promote independence for old & vulnerable people - this is a real issue since Lewisham is looking very closely at its Adult Social Care provision at the very moment.
Extra funding to push recycling to 40% by 2010. Lewisham has a long way to go to acheive this so it's to be hoped we're in for a good settlement on this budget line.
Removal of ring-fencing from £5billion worth of grants - very much as much of an oportunity as a threat. An opportunity to spend cash in line with local priorities; a threat to our finances since it means that Central government can always refer to 'local priorities' if Lewisham is short of cash as a result of new initiatives.