Con Dem Coalition Cuts Council Funding

16 June 2010

The first signs of where Government funding cuts will hit the East Midlands are beginning to emerge.

The new coalition Government is planning to find more than £6 billion of savings over the course of the next year.

Jobs to be cutNew figures released by the Department of Communities and Local Government show Northamptonshire County will see a reduction in its grants of £4.1 million, Derbyshire will lose £4.1 million, Nottinghamshire will receive £4.75 million less and Lincolnshire County Council has been told it will receive £4.2 million less from the government this financial year.

Of course this is only the start. Pronouncements from the coalition government indicate that there will be massive cuts in public spending over the next few years. Not just local councils, but other public services, many of whom are already being squeezed, will be squeezed further and further. This week one national personnel body - hardly a home of left-wing agitation - predicted that 750,000 public service jobs will be lost over the next five years.

These savage public sector cuts will have a devastating effect on local economies. For example, Lincolnshire County Council spends the majority of its budget on purchasing, so as that spend reduces so does the income of its contractors. Allied to that, it is the county's largest employer, so a shrinking workforce means less personal spending on local goods and services. And so the vicious circle goes on, taking us back into the recession from which we are said to be emerging.

Northamptonshire County Council leader Jim Harker said: "We will be looking at how we will deal with this, this week. It's too early to be specific about any cuts but inevitably some service areas will be affected.  The biggest loss is to our education support service which is losing about £3 million and there is also a reduction for our highways department."

On top of this borough councils are facing cuts too, for example Corby Council will lose £64,000 in grants but last week its chief executive said the authority it is facing a cut of £1.1 million as a result of the abolition of the reward system for fast growing areas.

There is no way in which members of the public will not be hit hard by public spending cuts. Services that today we take for granted as part of the fabric of our society will disappear.  The budget deficit is another excuse for yet more Tory cuts in public services that follows on from many other cuts made over the past few years locally due to bad management.  The Conservative/Lib Dem Coalition will only stop destroying public services when we have nothing left or they are voted out.

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