Monday, 1 November 2010

Tory Council takes no action against cuts in Hyndburn

Tory Lead Hyndburn Borough Council Makes No Objection to Cuts In Westminster

A Parliamentary Question asked by Graham Jones, MP for Haslingden and Hyndburn, has revealed that Hyndburn Borough Council has made no official objection to the ongoing cuts in public spending.
I have asked the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, if he had received any representation from the Tory lead council on the issue of cuts. The Department revealed that it had not.

I have written to Tory Leader of Hyndburn Borough Council, Councillor Peter Britcliffe to ask why the council has failed to represent the interests of the people of Hyndburn and to invite the Tory Leader to meet with him in Westminster to discuss how the Council can better represent the borough in Parliament on this issue.
This comes as the Office of Budget Responsibility, which was created by George Osborne, has today revealed that cutting too much too soon will actually cost £700m in extra dole payments.
It is absolutely vital that the voice of our local communities, through their elected representatives, is heard in Government.
We are seeing some of the deepest cuts to be seen in a generation. The cuts to public spending have left the poor languishing while the rich have barely felt the pinch of the recession. I have seen the devastating effects of these cuts already as families struggle to make ends meet. For Hyndburn Borough Council not to have made any representation to the Government on this issue is utterly disgraceful.
I have written to the Leader of Council several times in the hope that together we can put a good case forward in Westminster. To arrange meetings with ministers. All I have been offered is a meeting at Scaitcliffe House at a time to suit the Council Leader. It just gives the impression they aren't bothered about Hyndburn.

Times have changed. Back in 2005, the Council Leader was leading the charge that 'Hyndburn was being shortchanged by Government', over what is now a paltry £300k. The Council Leader marched to London demanding a rebate. my predessor Greg Pope facilated Westmninster meetings and the opposition Labour leader jopined in the cross party appeal in Parliament.

Notes
· The Department for Communities and Local Government provided the answer to my question on the 9th September 2010.
· The question, as reported in Hansard, is as follows:
Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations he has received from Hyndburn borough council on reductions in levels of public expenditure. [14022]

Robert Neill: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not received any recent representation from Hyndburn borough council on reductions in levels of public expenditure.
The Original question in Hansard can be seen here:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm100909/text/100909w0001.htm#10090912000898
The Office for Budget Responsibility today published changes to the forecast for Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA), based on the direct effect of measures announced the June Budget and the additional changes to the economic forecast. This shows that £100m more will be spent on JSA in 2011/12 and £200m in each year until 2014/15, as a result of the extra unemployment payments needed due to lower growth. In addition, according to the OBR's figures, this more than offsets the savings forecast as a result of the Government's decision to move to uprating JSA by CPI instead of RPI.

Forecasts for Total Jobseekers'
Allowances payments
£billion
2010-11
2011-12
2012-13
2013-14
2014-15
June 2010 Budget
4.6
4.9
5.1
5.0
4.9
OBR Pre-Budget Forecast
4.6
4.9
4.9
4.9
4.8
Revisions in the June Budget
of which:
0.0
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.0
Direct effect from Budget measures
0.0
0.0
-0.1
-0.1
-0.2
Effect of additional changes to the economic forecast
0.0
0.1
0.2
0.2
0.2

Office for Budget Responsibility, Jobseekers’ allowance: changes between pre-Budget and Budget forecasts, 21 September 2010 - http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/d/jsa_revisions_210910.pdf