Labour leader calls for an end to austerity for local councils
Monday, 22 October 2018
The 'Breaking Point' campaign exposes the crisis in council finances after £16bn in cuts since 2010 - and warns more councils may follow Northamptonshire into bankruptcy.
Calderdale Labour council leader Tim Swift has joined with Labour councillors from across the UK to call for a real end to austerity for local councils.
They argue that Tory cuts mean councils have lost 60p out of every £1 that the last Labour Government was spending on local government in 2010.
Pressures on councils are increasing - last year, 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.
As a result of Government policies, Calderdale Council has been forced to find cuts of over £100 million since 2010.
Across the UK only 14% of council workers are now confident that vulnerable local residents can be adequately cared for.
The ‘Breaking Point’ petition is the most-signed petition of Labour councillors ever – with over 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. It has been signed by almost every Labour councillor in Calderdale and has now been handed in to 10 Downing Street ahead of the Budget on 29th October.
‘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.’
Leader of Calderdale Council Tim Swift said, “I am fully behind the Breaking Point campaign. We are joining 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.”
he Breaking Point campaign has the backing of Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary Andrew Gwynne MP, who said, "This is a fantastic campaign that has my total support. Labour councillors have come together in unprecedented numbers to send a clear warning to the Prime Minister and Chancellor that councils simply cannot take any more cuts. The next Labour Government will sustainably fund our councils and put an end to this crisis.”