Harrow Council insists that its sexual health services are delivered to the same “high standard”, despite a reduction in funding over the past five years.

Data obtained by the Greater London Authority showed that the council has cut its funding by 3.6 per cent when compared to 2013/14.

This equates to £98,000, but a spokesman for the council explained that the deliverance of strong sexual health services remains a priority.

He said: “We know how important this service is for our residents. Although there has been a slight reduction in expenditure there has been no impact to the service which continues to be delivered at a high standard.”

Funding for sexual health covers prevention education, treatment for a wide range of sexually-transmitted infections, contraception and general advice.

The cuts are indicative of the situation across the capital – though Harrow’s reduction of 3.6 per cent is relatively minor when compared to other boroughs.

On average, local authorities in London have slashed funding to their sexual health services by 16 per cent.

In Enfield, the figure is almost half, while in five other boroughs it stands at more than a quarter.

At the same time, in some areas – such as Bexley and Brent – the amount devoted to sexual health has gone up. In Lambeth, it has increased by a huge 77 per cent.

Sian Berry, member of the London Assembly and co-leader of the Green Party, said it was vital that councils look to protect these services.

She said: “Investment in health should be a priority for boroughs, but budgets have been reduced by tens of millions of pounds despite the clear need for contraceptive advice for London’s women and the high number of sexually transmitted infections in the city.

“For some people, even asking for help for sexual health problems can be a barrier to accessing services – but the situation is worsening as Londoners are having to compete for appointments or even being turned away from clinics already struggling to meet demand.

“The Mayor [of London] must use his influence to convince councils to keep these vital services open and accessible for anyone who needs them.”