The Threat Of The Cuts

February 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm / by

As you may know, I’ve been active in my horror at the scope and scale of the future Tory/Lib Dem cuts, and I was one of 130 labour councillors who signed a letter today to The Times on the subject.

If you didn’t get hold of a copy of the paper, here’s the letter I signed:

Dear Sir,

We welcome the discussion that has been opened following yesterday’s letter by the Liberal Democrat councillors regarding the Tory-Lib Dem Government’s funding cuts to local authorities. It is important that as local councillors we stand together for our communities who will suffer as the result of the severe and frontloaded cuts to local authorities. We are therefore appealing through your columns for cross party co-operation in response to this urgent matter.

The Prime Minister David Cameron himself acknowledged in a speech in 2009 that “local government is officially the most efficient part of the public sector”. As councillors and elected Mayors we will work to continue to drive down the costs of delivering quality public services. However, we feel that Secretary of State Eric Pickles has been disingenuous about the impact his cuts will have on our ability to provide services. The design and depth of the cuts to local authority budgets will undoubtedly hurt local economies and damage frontline services.

Because of the costly long term impacts these cuts will have to our communities and our local economies we believe it is important that we keep the discussion with the Government open. We therefore invite Liberal Democrat councillors to join us in writing to their fellow Liberal Democrat, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, to ask him to ask the Secretary of State for Local Government, Eric Pickles to look again at the unfairness of the Tory-Lib Dem Government’s cuts.

Our residents all across the country are relying on councillors of all parties to work together in the interests of the public and be their voice during tough times.