HACKNEY Labour Group of councillors has joined with Labour councillors from across the UK to call for a real end to austerity for local councils.

They have supported the handing in of a petition to 10 Downing Street, ahead of the October 29 Budget, underlining that many councils across the UK are at breaking point in terms of balancing their services and their budgets. Some may go bankrupt like Northamptonshire County Council.

Mayor Philip Glanville said: “The Prime Minister recently announced the end of ‘austerity’. Let’s see it happen in practice and save our services.”

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor of Hackney, with Newcastle Cllr Nick Forbes, Local Government Association (LGA) Vice Chair and LGA Labour Group Leader.

The petition has been organised by the Local Government Association (LGA) Labour Group, and Hackney Councillors have signed up along with more than 5,000 Labour councillors calling on the Prime Minister and Chancellor to use the Budget to cancel a further planned £1.3bn cut to councils, and to provide an immediate cash injection to stop children’s services and adult social care from collapsing.

Tory cuts mean councils have lost 60p out of every £1 that the last Labour Government was spending on local government in 2010. It amounts to more than £16bn in cuts to local services since 2010.

Pressures on councils are increasing. Nationally, last year local councils were forced to spend an extra £800 million on vital services to protect children, and with an ageing population and growing demand adult social care faces a funding gap of £3.5 billion.

Since 2010, Hackney Council has lost £140m in funding. This is the equivalent of £471 per head – one of the largest cuts in England. In terms of spending power it is the highest in the country.

Mayor Philip Glanville added: “I’ve written my own letter [see below] to the Chancellor highlighting the direct impact of austerity on Hackney. The Breaking Point campaign has our total support. We’ve joined together with Labour councillors from across the country to send a sharp warning to the Prime Minister and Chancellor that austerity is driving councils to the point of total collapse.

“We are delivering a powerful message to the Prime Minister and Chancellor that councils simply cannot take any more cuts. If the Budget doesn’t reverse the further cuts planned to local government for next year then more councils will collapse into bankruptcy, causing devastating effects for children at risk, disabled adults, and vulnerable older people.”

Background:

  • Mayor Glanville’s letter to the Chancellor:

  • The ‘Breaking Point’ petition:

‘Councils are at Breaking Point. Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor Philip Hammond must:

– Use the Budget to reverse next years planned £1.3bn cut to council budgets;

– Invest £2bn in children’s services and £2bn in adult social care to stop these vital emergency services from collapsing;

– Pledge to use the Spending Review to restore council funding to 2010 levels over the next four years;’

  • The cross-party Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that local councils face a new round of spending cuts of £1.3bn next year, with grants slashed by 36% in 2019/20 and 168 councils receiving no central funds from government at all. The LGA has also warned that councils now face a further funding gap of £7.8 billion by 2025 just to keep services ‘standing still’.
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