Council budgets across London have dropped by nearly a fifth since 2010, despite a two per cent rise this year, according to research.

New analysis by Centre for London shows London’s local authority budgets have dropped by 17 per cent per head over the past eight years, with inner London boroughs hit the hardest.

The analysis found all principal service areas, with the exception of children’s social care, have seen budget reductions, with planning and development, highways and transport and cultural activity budgets facing the largest cuts.

Councils have seen an overall fall in their budgets for service provision from £879 in 2010/11 to £729 in 2018/19 per person (excluding education, public health and police services).

This reduction amounts to a real terms cut of almost 35 per cent when inflation is considered.

Inner London boroughs have seen the biggest cuts. Urban authorities – in London and beyond – have previously been more dependent on government grants but have borne the biggest brunt of cuts under austerity, which have been applied evenly across councils.

Local authorities have needed to innovate when delivering services to cope with reduced funding and rising demand from London’s growing population.

Budgets for some areas such as planning and development have been cut by 59 per cent since 2010/11, despite housing delivery targets having more than doubled from 25,000 to 43,000 units in 2015/16.

Highways and transport budgets, including road safety, traffic management and street lighting, have been cut by 54 per cent and cultural activities budgets, including tourism, recreation, sport and libraries, have dropped by 42 per cent.

Silviya Barrett, research manager at Centre for London, said: “London boroughs, like other urban authorities across the country, have shown great ingenuity in adapting to hard hitting cuts, but they are running out of road.

“There are also concerns that the forthcoming Fair Funding Review will affect the longer-term funding allocations of those councils that have seen the biggest cuts.”

A Redbridge Council spokesperson explained the authority has had to make £166 million worth of savings since 2010, with a further £33 million of savings needed over the next five years.

They said: “We have responded by becoming more efficient, increasing our income and supporting our residents to live independently, so they are less reliant on intensive social care support.

“Redbridge is a low spend, high performing council but we cannot solve complex national problems such as the housing crisis and the costs of an ageing population on our own.

“If ministers are serious about high quality care and housing, they need to start backing us with the money to build new homes, grow our economy and help the most vulnerable.”

Cllr Kam Rai, Labour cabinet member for finance, added: “For almost a decade we have witnessed a decimation to local authority funding by the Conservative government, when you are effectively losing the best part of 60 per cent of your funding just retaining the services we have in Redbridge is a huge challenge.

“Our borough is also witnessing inner London pressures, as more and more people are housed from there to outer London without the subsequent recognition and requirement in funding, which adds to the demand on our services.

“Our objective remains to be more efficient and work in more intelligent ways, with service cuts a last resort, but this is becoming more difficult each year.”