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New PM Boris Johnson chairing his first Cabinet meeting in July. Labour council leaders are now asking him to restore council funding (photo: Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Open Governent Licence v3.0).

New PM Boris Johnson chairing his first Cabinet meeting in July. Labour council leaders are now asking him to restore council funding (photo: Wikimedia Commons, licensed under the Open Governent Licence v3.0).

Chowney joins Labour’s plea for restored council funding

Council leader Peter Chowney has joined dozens of Labour counterparts from local authorities around the country to urge new prime minister Boris Johnson to restore the council funding which has been removed under the Tory party’s austerity policy. Nick Terdre reports.

Cllr Peter Chowney has added his name to the 100 or so Labour leaders of councils across England and Wales who have written to the newly installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for the savage cuts to central government funding of local councils to be reversed.

“…since 2010 our funding from government has been cut by more than 60p in every £1 we previously received, and many council budgets have now reached breaking point,” the letter says. While council staff wages have fallen by a fifth, “adult social care is crumbling, more children are being taken into care than ever before, and there is a dire shortage of council housing.

“The government’s only response in recent years has been to produce ‘sticking plasters’ – small, short-term pots of money…This can’t go on.”

They recall Mr Johnson’s claim during his campaign to become Conservative Party leader that he would bring the country together, saying, “There is no better way for you to prove that this was more than empty rhetoric than by truly ending austerity in local government. No more sticking plasters.”

The letter calls on the PM to take action on three fronts:

  • Immediately invest £2bn in children’s services and £2bn in adult social care to stop these vital emergency services from collapsing;
  • Reverse the changes to the council funding formula that have forced the biggest cuts on to councils in the most deprived areas;
  • Pledge to use the Spending Review to restore council funding to 2010 levels over the next four years.

Full support

Giving his full support to the letter, Cllr Chowney said, “Along with other Labour Council Leaders I am calling on the new Prime Minister to restore funding to sustainable levels in all types of council: districts, counties and unitary councils.

“We are delivering a powerful message to the Prime Minister and Chancellor that councils simply cannot take any more cuts. Further cuts to local government by central government will mean that there will be devastating effects for children at risk, disabled adults, and vulnerable older people, as well as on community services and core services such as waste collection and parks.”

Since 2010 the revenue support grant paid to Hastings council – the principal source of central government funding for councils – has dwindled from £9m to nothing, amounting to an overall loss of £40m, Cllr Chowney has previously said.

 

Posted 20:49 Wednesday, Aug 7, 2019 In: Politics

3 Comments

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  1. hippolyte grigg

    Hear, Hear!

    Comment by hippolyte grigg — Sunday, Aug 18, 2019 @ 22:42

  2. Captain Reality

    Quite right Ms.Doubtfire, I agree with you but how will he find the time to do that, with all his PR photo op’s, telling us about all the good things he’s doing for our benefit, like his recent newspaper comment ” I’m saving Hastings from gentrification”
    Is that right Mr Chowney? For who’s benefit I ask?
    As there seems to be a disproportionate amount of property in the hands of investors and developers in this town, and they’ll do what they want anyway, won’t they?
    And in saving Hastings from the spectre of individuals putting they’re own cash, (not borrowed) into saving the neglected, ignored, bodged buildings, employing local trades, services and people to do it, helping the local economy, which also props up our councils funds…Mr Chowney has forgotten the ripped backside of Hastings, called Central St Leonards again, and we’re not talking about Norman Road or King’s Road here.
    You should come and visit some time, help us pick up the constant rubbish dumped here from far and wide everyday, or the used needles left on our doorsteps…talk to the the beggars, drunks, window smashers, thieves, and troubled individuals to tell them how much you are doing for them, or the kids who no longer have a free local youth centre to keep themselves occupied to prevent them becoming like the above…or talk to the tourists who get off the train for the beach, see the above, and have priceless looks on they’re faces, and ask us locals why?!
    Yes congratulations Mr Chowney, you certainly are working hard to prevent this area from being ‘gentrified’…We on the other hand would just like more effort from your organisation, after all we are paying for it, but it seems your organisation is distracted.

    Comment by Captain Reality — Sunday, Aug 11, 2019 @ 23:11

  3. Ms.Doubtfire

    How about Peter Chowney having a closer look at how his council is spending public monies??? Millions of pounds borrowed for schemes which are very risky schemes… plus all manner of feasibility studies/consultations which are neither use nor benefit for the vast majority of local people. Councillor Chowney needs to look at how he is spending our money before he makes criticism.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Thursday, Aug 8, 2019 @ 08:33

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