Report damns funding cuts to counties like us

Hard cash: councils need more, says report

Hard cash: councils need more, says report

First published in News Bromsgrove Advertiser: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A DAMNING report says cuts to council funding in areas including Worcestershire could put Britain at risk of its international obligations.

A report from an outside body says local authorities in the UK "do not have adequate financial resources" and this is likely to "get worse in years to come".

The findings, from the Council of Europe, suggest the country is no longer compliant with the European charter of local self-government - an agreement signed back in 1988.

The report, the first one done on Britain's town halls since 1999, says councils are severely restricted in their ability to provide "essential public services" like elderly care and public transport.

Its publication comes at a time when councils in Worcestershire are making unprecedented cuts, largely due to demographic pressures and reduced Government funding.

The county council is looking to slash around £99m by 2019, while the city council is aiming to reduce spending by £4.1 million.

The report has blamed "austerity measures placed on local government", saying it examined councils in Cardiff, Leeds, London and Edinburgh before forming the view.

A delegation found councils are "faring worse" than other parts of the public sector.

It concludes by saying councils need greater powers, increased ability to raise taxes and fairer funding.

Councillors across Worcestershire say they are not surprised by the findings.

Labour Councillor Paul Denham, the deputy Mayor of Worcester, said: "I'm not surprised at all - part of the reason it's gone down is because of protection in NHS funding, but even that hasn't kept up with demand.

"I travel across Europe from time to time and I've come to the view we've been overtaken by most civilised Western nations, particularly for public transport and social care."

Councillor Neil Laurenson, from Worcester Green Party, said: "It's absolutely no surprise to me that this report comes to the same conclusions many people have.

"People need to understand this is why services are being cut."

Councillor Bob Banks, a Conservative at the county council, said: "The reasons for it are well-rehearsed, and as a Conservative I'd say it's been caused by the financial crisis.

"It's affected Europe too, something they seen blissfully unaware of. But the recommendations are the right ones, and I think with some of them we're already getting there."

The Council of Europe is the continent's leading human rights organisation and is based in France, employing 2,200 people.

Its brief is to probe issues facing all European nations, by doing regular reports for the attention of Governments.

Sir Merrick Cockell, from the Local Government Association, which represents all councils, said: "This is a fair reflection on the current pressures facing local government."

Comments (4)

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7:30pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Barefoot and different says...

The services to the elderly and other vulnerable groups have been virtually destroyed which will have a catastrophic effect on these people and will cost many their lives. The excuse that this is about the state of the economy is no justification for the hardship this will inflict and given that this government is giving around £42000 a year tax cut to the rich it is nothing but despicable!
The services to the elderly and other vulnerable groups have been virtually destroyed which will have a catastrophic effect on these people and will cost many their lives. The excuse that this is about the state of the economy is no justification for the hardship this will inflict and given that this government is giving around £42000 a year tax cut to the rich it is nothing but despicable! Barefoot and different
  • Score: -2

8:29pm Wed 26 Mar 14

DarrenM says...

They need to keep cutting - unfortunately the councils will keep axing funding to vulnerable groups while protecting their own feather-bedded salaries and employment conditions so that they can use these groups as examples for how terrible the cuts are.
The only answer is deeper cuts to force them out. Then rebuild from scratch.
They need to keep cutting - unfortunately the councils will keep axing funding to vulnerable groups while protecting their own feather-bedded salaries and employment conditions so that they can use these groups as examples for how terrible the cuts are. The only answer is deeper cuts to force them out. Then rebuild from scratch. DarrenM
  • Score: -1

11:08pm Wed 26 Mar 14

Landy44 says...

It gives me no pleasure to say it, but...you ain't seen nothing yet. The sad fact of the matter is that these cuts are necessary, or rather they were necessary if they had been executed early enough to make any difference. By now it's WAY too late. This country and others are so deep in debt and continuing to dig that nothing short of a miracle can save it. As interest rates rise as they surely will, it will get to the point of bankruptcy - we'll see a serious collapse, and hopefully a rebuild on a more sensible basis. BUT we need to change our mindset...theses "services" for "vulnerable" people - what did we do before we had them? Where is the "community" that used to exist before we became the dependent population reliant on the nanny state? Where has our backbone, self reliance, intelligence, energy and drive gone? We'd better get it back, and fast!
It gives me no pleasure to say it, but...you ain't seen nothing yet. The sad fact of the matter is that these cuts are necessary, or rather they were necessary if they had been executed early enough to make any difference. By now it's WAY too late. This country and others are so deep in debt and continuing to dig that nothing short of a miracle can save it. As interest rates rise as they surely will, it will get to the point of bankruptcy - we'll see a serious collapse, and hopefully a rebuild on a more sensible basis. BUT we need to change our mindset...theses "services" for "vulnerable" people - what did we do before we had them? Where is the "community" that used to exist before we became the dependent population reliant on the nanny state? Where has our backbone, self reliance, intelligence, energy and drive gone? We'd better get it back, and fast! Landy44
  • Score: 2

12:25am Thu 27 Mar 14

DOEPUBLIC says...

Landy44 wrote:
It gives me no pleasure to say it, but...you ain't seen nothing yet. The sad fact of the matter is that these cuts are necessary, or rather they were necessary if they had been executed early enough to make any difference. By now it's WAY too late. This country and others are so deep in debt and continuing to dig that nothing short of a miracle can save it. As interest rates rise as they surely will, it will get to the point of bankruptcy - we'll see a serious collapse, and hopefully a rebuild on a more sensible basis. BUT we need to change our mindset...theses "services" for "vulnerable" people - what did we do before we had them? Where is the "community" that used to exist before we became the dependent population reliant on the nanny state? Where has our backbone, self reliance, intelligence, energy and drive gone? We'd better get it back, and fast!
Maybe, a person finds they have lost them through no fault of their own. So are you to leave them behind because they are not fast enough for you ?

Maybe, you'll also find they paid their dues in the knowledge it would help others who needed it. So will you leave them behind because they cannot pay ?

And maybe you'll find that sadly when they came to need the help, what they had trusted would be there wasn't. So will you leave them behind ?

Maybe you'll find they have already been left behind. So will you go back for them ?
[quote][p][bold]Landy44[/bold] wrote: It gives me no pleasure to say it, but...you ain't seen nothing yet. The sad fact of the matter is that these cuts are necessary, or rather they were necessary if they had been executed early enough to make any difference. By now it's WAY too late. This country and others are so deep in debt and continuing to dig that nothing short of a miracle can save it. As interest rates rise as they surely will, it will get to the point of bankruptcy - we'll see a serious collapse, and hopefully a rebuild on a more sensible basis. BUT we need to change our mindset...theses "services" for "vulnerable" people - what did we do before we had them? Where is the "community" that used to exist before we became the dependent population reliant on the nanny state? Where has our backbone, self reliance, intelligence, energy and drive gone? We'd better get it back, and fast![/p][/quote]Maybe, a person finds they have lost them through no fault of their own. So are you to leave them behind because they are not fast enough for you ? Maybe, you'll also find they paid their dues in the knowledge it would help others who needed it. So will you leave them behind because they cannot pay ? And maybe you'll find that sadly when they came to need the help, what they had trusted would be there wasn't. So will you leave them behind ? Maybe you'll find they have already been left behind. So will you go back for them ? DOEPUBLIC
  • Score: 2

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