Fury as figures show unequal cuts to town hall budgets

An MP from the borough has hit out angrily after new figures show the heaviest council cuts are falling on the country’s most deprived areas

Monday, 29th April 2019, 2:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 11:15 am
Yvonne Fovargue MP

Yvonne Fovargue, who represents Makerfield in the House of Commons, spoke after research by the House of Commons Library found Labour-run town halls, those in the North of England and those serving poor communities are having to face the heaviest cash reductions.

Wigan has been saddled with some of the biggest cuts to local government funding in the entire country, with the research showing spending power per household in the borough has been cut by 25.4 per cent, or £541.

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Ms Fovargue praised the town hall for coming up with new ways of delivering services as funding is axed but said the allocation of cash to local authorities is fundamentally unfair.

She said: “Ordinary families are paying the price as councils are forced to cut services to fill the gap. The Tories won’t stand up for working people. They are putting family prosperity and Britain’s future at risk.

“Wigan is working hard to protect local communities from Tory austerity and they have been pioneers of new ways of working to protect services and involve local community organisations in the running of services.

“It is a credit to our councillors who have faced enormous pressure since 2010 because of politically motivated cuts by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition under David Cameron and now Theresa May.”

The analysis of local government financial data by the independent Westminster library shows local authority spending power per household is on course to fall by an average of 23 per cent, or £254, between 2010-11 and 2019-20.

But the cuts have not fallen on all councils alike. The data suggests Labour-run town halls will see spending power cut by an average of 28 per cent, whereas those with Conservative councillors in charge will see a 19 per cent fall.

That means that those living in towns or cities where the red rosette wins elections will have spending cuts of £539 per household, more than four times that of £120 in areas where the blue rosette is on top politically.

It is also suggested that nine out of England’s 10 most deprived areas have seen reductions almost three times the size of others.

Local elections are on May 2. To see who is standing in your ward visit https://wigan.gov.uk/Docs/PDF/Council/Voting-and-Elections/Statement-Of-Persons-Nominated-May-2019-Local-Election.pdf