This week, Conservative Lord Porter, chairman of the Local Government Association has said councils need to be “front of the queue” for new funding if “austerity is coming to an end” as it was announced that 75p in every £1 of core government funding to councils will be cut by 2020.
- By 2020, local government in England will have lost 75 pence out of every £1 of core central government funding that it had to spend in 2015 – this is money used to pay for services like collecting bins, filling potholes, protecting children and caring for elderly and disabled people.
- Almost half of all councils – 168 councils – will no longer receive any of this core central government funding by 2019/20.
- Councils face an overall £5.8 billion funding gap by 2020 – even if councils stopped filling in potholes, maintaining parks and open spaces, closed all children’s centres, libraries, museums, leisure centres, turned off every street light and shut all discretionary bus routes they still would not have saved enough money to plug this gap by the end of the decade.
Rossendale Council will have lost a total of £27.5m in resources by 2020 if spending cuts continue from central government. Lancashire County Council has lost £685m since 2010. That’s money that should have been spent on our Schools, vulnerable people and our roads.
Alyson Barnes, Leader of Rossendale Borough Council says:
“In 2010, we all signed up to austerity. We all understood that cuts were needed to balance the books but clearly 7 years on, this hasn’t worked. National Debt is higher than in 2010, we have over 1.2 million people using foodbanks across the country and our public services are at breaking point.
“Enough is enough – councils will not be able to continue to provide vital services if austerity continues. If you asked a private company to cut 75% of its income but provide the same services, it wouldn’t be able to do it.
“Clearly, with this government, it’s about priorities. Theresa May’s government prioritises giving £1.5b to Northern Ireland for 10 votes in parliament over a properly funded NHS system, increased funding for our schools and police and increased money to sort out our roads.
“Austerity hasn’t worked. We need a new approach.”