The Limits to Resilience? The Impact of Local Government Spending Cuts in London

Amanda Fitzgerald, Ruth Lupton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Compared with other service areas, spending on local government has suffered particularly large cuts under the austerity measures of the Coalition government in England since 2010. This article provides detailed evidence from three London boroughs as to the impacts of these cuts. Following an analysis of the scale and distribution of the cuts, we describe how local authorities have responded, utilising categories of efficiencies, reinvestment and retrenchment. We then address the extent to which these responses demonstrate local authority resilience. We find that the boroughs have demonstrated, in the period covered, a capacity to ???bounce forward??? from the external shock of the cuts, corresponding to a concept of ???resilience as transformation???. However, we conclude that a broader notion of resilience is also needed, taking into account not only the nature of organisational responses but also the extent of their capacity to support the needs of residents, which a focus on transformation may too easily obscure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-600
Number of pages19
JournalLocal Government Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


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