Council spending per head in Enfield and Haringey has been slashed by more than a fifth over the past seven years, a study has shown.

Figures from think tank Centre for London show councils have been battered by the government’s austerity measures, with planning and development services bearing the brunt of cuts – despite an ongoing housing crisis.

Enfield has cut spending per head by 22.1 per cent, while Haringey has made cuts of 22.5 per cent, the data show.

In contrast, nearby Barnet has seen a fall of just 4.6 per cent.

The general trend is for deep reductions across London, with Newham slashing spending per head by almost a third (32.7 per cent).

Only Barnet, Sutton, Bexley, Richmond and Havering have seen cuts of less than 10 per cent.

Local authorities have been forced to tighten their belts since the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government came to power in 2010.

The coalition responded to the financial crisis by making significant spending reductions, including slashing grants to councils.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, councils in England saw an average real-terms cut of almost 26 per cent to their funding between 2010 and 2016.

The Centre for London study shows they have responded by protecting expenditure on social care services for children and adults and making bigger cuts to planning and development (55 per cent), cultural and related activities (41 per cent) and highways and transport (38 per cent).

Labour-run councils such as Enfield and Haringey tend to spend more per head than other local authorities, but the gap has recently narrowed as they have been forced to make bigger proportional cuts to service budgets.

Richard Brown, research director at Centre for London said: “Newly elected London councillors are this week arriving at town halls that have been on the front line of austerity.

“London boroughs, like other metropolitan authorities, have been hard hit by spending cuts, with the result that delivering on manifesto promises – especially on increasing the supply of affordable housing - may be challenging.

“Until now, councils have shown ingenuity in finding efficiencies and protecting statutory services, but they are running out of road. Continuing austerity is likely to force some harsh choices in the years to come.

“Local authorities should put party politics aside, and collectively lobby for a new funding settlement, with fiscal devolution and local taxation reform, to put London services on a sustainable footing.”

Cllr Achilleas Georgiou, deputy leader of Enfield Council, commented: "We have had to endure over £160 million in cuts from the Tory government, and more is on its way as part of their austerity measures that will cut back essential public services.

"We remain resolute and continue to seek the most effective and economic way to deliver services for the people of Enfield. In the past eight years, the Labour administration has been innovative in the new programmes we have introduced, including building award-winning council homes and an energy company to supply affordable energy.  

"Further cuts by the Tory government mean that there are tough times ahead. The people of Enfield have put their trust in us. As we go forward, we will be guided by our values and principles – protecting the most vulnerable, while also delivering services people depend upon. 

"We will do this by being stringent in the control of costs and pioneering in building upon the success of the previous eight years."