Councils in North West England spending £1.4bn a year less on key services than in 2010

By agency reporter
November 26, 2019

Councils in the North West of England are spending £1.4 billion a year less on key local services than in 2010, according to a new TUC analysis published on 26 November 2019.

The TUC has looked at of the impact of cuts on local government funding across England. In 2010/11, councils in the North West were spending a total of £6.8 billion on key services such as social care, waste management, libraries and transport. But in 2018/2019 – following years of funding cuts from Westminster – that spending had fallen by 21 per cent (1.4 billion) to £5.4 bilion.

This works out to 23 per cent (£180) less being spent on services per person in the region. Only the North East has seen a bigger drop in council spending since 2010/11 than the North West.

The five councils with the biggest spending drops on vital services in the North West since 2010/11 are:

  • Rossendale: spending 57 per cent (£9 million) a year less on key council services
  • Copeland: spending 51 per cent (£8.7 million) a year less on key council services
  • Halton: spending 51 per cent (£76 million) a year less on key council services
  • Preston: spending 46 per cet (£18 million) a year less on key council services
  • Burnley: spending 44 per cent (£11 million) a year less on key council services

Councils in England as a whole are spending £7.8 billion a year – £150 million a week – less on key services than they were in 2010 before the spending cuts were introduced.

Central government grant funding to local authorities has been cut significantly since 2010. The Local Government Association estimates that councils will have lost 60p out of every £1 the government had provided to spend on local services in the last eight years alone.

By targeting cuts on central government grants, ministers have disproportionately impacted councils in more deprived areas of Britain, says the TUC. Local councils today are increasingly more reliant on raising income through council tax, their share of business rates and other charges and fees. But this is much harder for councils in more deprived areas of the country as they are less able to raise significant funding this way.

TUC Regional Secretary Jay McKenna said: “Ministers have slashed funding for local services across the region. These are services our communities really depend upon, like youth services, libraries and local transport. We need a plan for healing the pain a decade of Conservative cuts have caused. That means new investment to restore council budgets back to where they were at the start of the decade.”

* Trade Union Congress https://www.tuc.org.uk/

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