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The challenge

Like other councils, our budgets have been severely cut in recent years as government support reduces.

The overall loss in core funding for Tower Hamlets between 2010 and 2016/17 is 46.1%. In addition there is now a further 18 per cent reduction between 2017/18 and 2019/20.

In total this means that by the end of 2020 the council will have lost 54.6% of its core funding. Inflation means that this loss is in reality even more severe. 

Since the cuts started in 2010, the council has saved £138.3m.

However, we now have to save a further £58m by 2020. As the government cuts go deeper, it is more difficult to make the savings.

That means we have to find ways of saving £1 from every £6 we currently spend.


All of this at a time when we are facing more pressures than ever before with more vulnerable elderly people and children needing our support.

Infographics of pressures by 2020

By 2020

  • The number of children and young people is expected to rise by 11.2% (to 74,203 from 66,745)
  • We are expected to need another 4,122 school places – a rise of 10.8%  (currently 38,329 to 42,451)
  • We are expecting a 11.2% increase in the number of residents with a limiting health problem or disability (40,203 to 44,686)
  • Our population is expected to increase by 13% to 331,010 – the fastest growing in London
  • The number of older people is expected to rise 13.4% (from 17,114 to 19,411)
  • A 9.6% expected increase in waste we collect (100,231 rise to 109,844)