Brent councillors have promised people living in the borough that they will not be left behind, as they responded to a set of “challenging” draft budget proposals.

The council’s cabinet met yesterday to discuss its plans for cost-cutting over the next two years, after its finance team calculated the need to find £26 million worth of savings.

Suggestions include the introduction of 15-minute calls in care homes, the closure of all children’s centres and cuts to the council tax support scheme.

Several members spoke of the “difficult” situation and admitted that they would rather be in a better position.

But they assured the public that they remain a priority, and they want to do all they can to continue with as close to the level of service they currently provide.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, responsible for housing and welfare reform at Brent Council, said: “It’s really important for residents to know that this in no way diminishes our commitment to the really core issues.

“We will continue in out relentless, and creative, campaign against what is a chronic housing crisis in Brent and London as a whole.”

She, like many of her colleagues, criticised the Government’s claim that austerity is coming to an end but said it was up to local authorities to fight for their constituents.

“The reality is that austerity is only just starting to hit some people – we’ve seen the money disappear, now residents are feeling it disappear,” she added.

“We need to think about how we manage this in the least damaging way, and we need everyone to help.”

Her words were echoed by Cllr Shama Tatler, responsible for planning, highways and regeneration at the council, who described the need for further cuts as “a damning indictment of not realising the importance of local government”.

She added that the council would continue to provide more council housing and support business in the borough.

And Cllr Tom Miller, responsible for community safety at the council, said it is time for changes at the top, to ease the pressure on local authorities.

“Austerity is far from over; and as long as [the Conservatives] are in [government], it probably never will be,” he said.

“While we are innovating as a council and focused on creating a better life for our residents, we will also be campaigning for a change in government.”

The council launched a consultation on the budget proposals, running until January, and urged as many people as possible to get involved.