Council leader rejects PM's cuts claim

2 October 2013

Our Leader Anne Western has rejected claims by the Prime Minister that the cuts facing local councils are 'relatively modest'.

Speaking at the meeting of full council today (Wednesday 2 October), Councillor Anne Western said that David Cameron seems out of touch with the realities facing local government:

"The funding cuts announced by the Coalition Government will have cut a third - £227 million - off our budget by 2018"

said Councillor Anne Western.

"Unlike Mr Cameron, I don't consider them to be relatively modest. They will devastate important local services.

"He is wrong to suggest we're only being asked to find an extra 2.3% in spending cuts. But perhaps he is not aware of what his own government is doing.

"Does he not know about the extra cuts imposed on us over the summer by the Department for Communities and Local Government?

"First we were led to believe that our main grant for local services for 2015/2016 was going to be cut by 10%. Now it has risen to 27%."

She added:

"Every council is going to have to make very significant cuts to their services. I would urge the Prime Minister to listen to politicians from all parties who have spoken out against the scale of the cuts and the damage they will do to local services."

Councillor Western's comments echo the concerns raised by Sir Merrick Cockell, chair of the Local Government Association.

But Sir Merrick has gone even further warning that some councils could go bust. And he confirms the finances of some councils are close to breaking point as a result of Coalition Government-imposed cuts.

"David Cameron needs to take note of what councils across the country are saying," continued Councillor Western.

"The cuts his government are imposing are real and they are deep. They will devastate our services and leave local people without the support they need."

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