As Many Public Services Struggle to Survive CWAC Leader Pleads to Government for More Money
|Published: 14th November 2023 20:55|
Neston councillor pleads to the government, demanding a fairer deal for the borough.
Labour's Louise Gittins has joined cash-strapped heads of many other local authorities in pleading to the Government for more money.
Leader of CWAC Council, and Member for Little Neston, Councillor Gittins has written to Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt demanding a fairer deal for the borough.
Her letter comes ahead of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement on Wednesday, 22 November 2023 when he will set out the Government's spending priorities for the next financial year and beyond.
Cllr Gittins says Mr Hunt will have a chance to reverse damaging cuts that have left many public services struggling to survive.
Since 2010 the Government has repeatedly slashed funding to local authorities, leaving an increasing number of councils of varying political persuasions warning that they could effectively go bankrupt in the years ahead. Some have already done so.
The cross-party Local Government Association has warned that a combination of rampant inflation, rising homelessness and the increased cost of delivering services such as children's social care mean councils are facing a £4 billion funding gap by March 2025.
Cllr Gittins said: "Government cuts have been unfairly targeted at boroughs like Cheshire West and Chester where the cumulative total of reductions in Government funding is calculated as high as £572.462million.
"Unfunded pressures are pushing council finances to the brink. Local family finances are still recovering from the Conservative government's disastrous decisions that crashed our economy.
"The Government should take responsibility for funding local services, rather than once again forcing councils to increase council tax bills."
Cllr Gittins is reminding Mr Hunt that inflation is a major factor which has not been properly accounted for in government funding. Inflation soared after the Government's mini-budget crashed the economy and is still at a much higher level than anticipated.
Councillor Louise Gittins
Ever-increasing Children's Services costs relate mainly to higher prices for supporting young people in residential and supported accommodation, while demand also continues to increase for long-term Adult Social Care arrangements. Six out of every 10 pounds go to mandatory social care funding.
Homelessness costs remain a constant pressure in the face of the cost-of-living crisis and the ongoing freeze to Local Housing Allowance.
And Home to School Transport costs for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) continue to spiral due to an increase in the number of children requiring it.