Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Tory Government attacks the poorest Councils, rewards Tory Councils

The Local Government Finacial Settlement for next year provides the most offensive political funding settlement that can ever be recalled. Eric Pickles, Secretary of State has stated that the average cut across England and Wales is just 1.2%.

The Local Government Finacial Settlement has been designed so that Labour Councils are hit hard and Tory Councils are do not have to shoulder the burden of Government cuts. That we are not 'all in this together' as George Osborne claims. The deicit is being balanced on the backs of the poor. The poorest people in Lancashire will have are facing grotesquely unfair cuts as seen in the table below.

Conservative Councils are facing cuts amounting to £100ks whilst Labour Councils and East Lancashire in particular is facing cuts in the £millions - a ten fold increase in cut.

Local Council tax payers will have to pick up the cost in fewer or poorer services, higher charges or higher Council taxes. There is also an impact on local shops and the local economy.

Headline


Adjusted 2012-13 Budget Adjusted 2013-14 Budget Gov't cut Gov't cut


Political Control
(£ million)
(£ million)
(£ million)
(%)
Burnley LAB 19.872 16.341 3.531 -17.8%
Hyndburn LAB 15.991 13.377 2.614 -16.3%
Pendle CON/LD 18.238 15.684 2.554 -14.0%
Preston LAB 25.131 23.515 1.616 -6.4%
Lancaster LAB/GN 22.221 21.737 0.484 -2.2%
Rossendale LAB 11.001 10.630 0.371 -3.4%
South Ribble CON 13.784 13.488 0.296 -2.1%
Wyre CON 15.607 15.349 0.258 -1.7%
West Lancashire CON 15.089 14.900 0.188 -1.2%
Fylde CON 10.975 10.848 0.128 -1.2%
Ribble Valley CON 6.599 6.516 0.083 -1.3%
Chorley LAB 14.489 14.698 -0.208 1.4%

This years cuts are ontop of the cuts imposed last year. Below is the heat map of the cuts that the government have imposed from 2011-12 where Tory Councils were once again given minimal cuts.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/dec/14/local-council-cuts-data#_


Council Leader, Cllr Miles Parkinson spoke today in response to the recent settlement announcement:

Cllr Parkinson said; “The headline figure is a reduction in Council Spending power of 8.8%, the toughest in the country.

The figure could have been much worse at over 17% except for strong lobbying by local MP Graham Jones for additional funding of £2.1m not to be withdrawn. The Government finally agreed to continue this extra funding but reduced it by over £900,000. This extra funding will only last 2 years and after that the impact of Government reductions will exceed 17%. This is on the back of previous reductions over the last 2 years of over 20%.

The actual reduction in Government support is significantly higher than the headline figure of 8.8% as this figure includes amounts raised in local taxation. Initial calculations indicate that the Government has reduced funding to the Council by more than 13%, though we are still working on the detail to confirm this figure.

The overall Local Government Grant Settlement this year shows that local government is continuing to face the brunt of reductions in spending by Government and that deprived councils particularly in the North are suffering the most under the Government’s reforms of local government finance.

The Council however remains strongly committed to ensuring services and jobs are protected wherever possible and that in these times of economic hardship for the people of Hyndburn, there should be no additional burden from increases in local taxation. Therefore despite the significant reduction in funding from the Government there will be no rise in the Council Tax in 2013/14 and we will still deliver quality, value for money services for our residents.

Hyndburn Council has a strong track record over many years of delivering good quality services efficiently and we will continue to find ways to do more for less.”