Tag Archives: cuts

Divide and Conquer

Exhibit A

LABOUR-run Durham County Council is poised to axe 1,600 jobs, its leader revealed this week. Faced with £100m of savings over four years, it is to ask its entire 10,041-strong directly-employed workforce for expressions of interest in early retirement or voluntary redundancy.

Over £11m of Durham County Council’s grant has been withheld to protect services in other local authority areas mostly in the South. The Government’s financial damping system which sets a minimum and maximum grant level for every council unduly penalises authorities in hard-hit areas.

In addition, grants for job creation and help to poverty-stricken areas have also been slashed by £25m Coun Henig said that when all grants were taken into account, the council faced a year-on-year funding cut of 15 per cent; and there was “clear unfairness” across the country, with Surrey County Council losing just 0.3 per cent.

Exhibit B

COUNCILS across Surrey are digesting the results of this week’s local government finance settlement, with reduced grants set to have an impact on services.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said there would be cuts of between 0.31% and 6.96% in the ‘revenue spending power’ of Surrey’s 11 borough and district authorities, plus the county council. But the real figures for reductions in funding which comes direct from central government are much higher, as the revenue spending power totals included council tax money – which is collected locally – plus other smaller grants separate from the core ‘formula grant’.

… local authorities in the county, where cuts to jobs and services have been part of the landscape in recent years, warned of challenging times ahead. Surrey County Council said its main central government grant was being cut by 25% over the two years, meaning a £41m funding reduction.

The very short exercise.

Did I blink? I think I may have missed something. On May 26th, the Government announced the scale of in-year budget cuts facing local government, and said they would be consulting Councils on which funding streams should be axed to achieve those cuts. Since then, I have been on the lookout for the form and scope of this consultation thinking, perhaps, we’d want to respond to it. A Treasury source told the LGCDCLG will be leading the exercise but with the reductions to come this year, we would expect it to be a short exercise.”

So short, in fact, that I haven’t spotted it – but it must have happened while I was out to lunch or something, because the results (or, at least, the funding streams to be cut) were announced earlier today. I mean really. How are the Government going to pretend they’re listening to us if we don’t even get a chance to say something in the first place. I suppose if this becomes the pattern there’s a chance I might get a quiet life. Or a redundancy notice.