Monday, September 26, 2022

Council bosses plead to government over cuts

THE Local Government Association says more cuts would hit vital council services including bin collections and care for the elderly

Town hall bosses are pleading with the Chancellor George Osborne not to devastate care for the elderly in his first Tory Budget this summer.

The Local Government Association (LGA) warned Osborne that more brutal funding cuts for councils are “not an option”.

“Vital services such as collecting bins, filling potholes, maintaining our parks and caring for the elderly would struggle to continue at current levels,” warned LGA chief and Tory councillor David Sparks.

The Coalition slashed grants to councils by 40% over the last Parliament, devastating local services across Britain.

Mr Osborne will set out his next round of brutal spending cuts in an emergency Budget on July 8.

The welfare cuts hit the old, the infirm, the young and the most vulnerable

Having promised to protect the NHS, schools and foreign aid budgets while slashing spending elsewhere, the Chancellor is certain to hammer local authorities yet again.

But the LGA – which represents all 375 local councils across England and Wales – said the most vulnerable people in society will be hit hard.

“Further local government funding reductions over the next five years are not an option,” Cllr Sparks said in an open letter.

“The new Government must consider the consequences that further funding cuts will have on the services which bind our communities together and protect the most vulnerable.”

Town halls are responsible for providing community care for the elderly and social services which support the sick, vulnerable and disabled.

But the pressure on those budgets are soaring due to the increase in Britain’s elderly population.

Cllr Sparks said councils have already found every efficiency saving available and that more funding cuts would spell the end of vital public services.

“Councils have worked hard to shield residents from the impact of funding cuts. However, efficiencies cannot be remade or buildings resold,” he said.

“If our public services are to survive the next few years, councils need fairer funding.”

Local authorities say 2015 cuts amount to around £2.6billion in cash terms this year alone with more to come in future years across 375 separate authorites.

20 councils will see their funding slashed by over 6% in 2015.


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