Council leader believes northern authorities are being 'hammered' compared to those in the south (From Wirral Globe)
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Council leader believes northern authorities are being 'hammered' compared to those in the south
WIRRAL Council’s leader believes northern councils are being ‘hammered’ compared to those in the south.
The statement comes following an analysis by the Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) which shows councils in the Midlands and north of England are facing much deeper cuts to their funding than those in London and the south.
SIGOMA’s latest report on local government funding plans has uncovered that the average council in the north west will lose £627 per person compared to those in the south east, where councils only lose £305 per person by 2017/18.
The report warns that the disparity in funding could put some councils at ‘breaking point’ and could cause the economic recovery to bypass parts of the UK entirely.
New funding structures and the welfare reform changes means that councils suffering the largest cuts are often those facing the highest costs.
Council leader, Cllr Phil Davies, told the Globe: “This has been a long-running campaign for Wirral Council.
“I’m really appalled at the unfairness the government has applied to distributing finance.
“The SIGOMA report clearly shows that councils in the north like Wirral are being absolutely hammered whereas those in the south are being let off without hardly any cuts.
“I think it is unfair and just shows to me that the government does not care about people in northern counties otherwise why would they inflict so much damage with our budgets?”
Many fear the disparity in funding allocation will further increase the north/south divide.
Cllr Davies added: “It’s an issue that I think does urgently need addressing.
“It is not just about the totality of the funding allocated, it’s about the unfairness in terms of how it is distributed between the north and south.”
Mr Davies told the Globe he believes encouraging people to sign the ‘Stop the Growing Divide’ petition will help to show the true opposition of the way the government is making decisions.
He said: “I just cannot believe that the government now no longer funds councils according to need. It just beggars belief.
“The government refuses to listen to council leaders like me but if enough residents sign the petition and lobby their MPs, if enough people start to add their voices, then it may change something.
“It is just an absolutely horrendous position in terms of the cuts we are having to make.”
To sign the ‘Stop the Growing Divide’ petition, started by St Helens MP David Watts, visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/51366
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