Research for Action is collecting evidence of Newham residents’ experiences of cuts to services as part of our citizen debt audit. The aim of the project is to start a conversation about the legitimacy of the continued, ring-fenced expenditure to financial sector in the context of cuts in services in one of the most deprived areas in England. 43 per cent of children in Newham grow up in poverty. Yet since 2010, the council has cut spending on services by nearly a third.
For this study, we asked 51 Newham residents about their experiences interacting with a range of council services, their views on council accountability and to what extent they felt their opinions were heard in local decision-making. We found that although most respondents were satisfied with the services they used, majority felt their needs were not met by the council, and heard harrowing stories of how people were let down by cuts.
Our full findings, including a more detailed description of our methodology, will be published in April.
We are also organising a series of open meetings with campaign groups and charities working with people affected by cuts. If you are a Newham resident or work with Newham residents and want to get involved, please get in touch.