Quantcast
Channel: Croydon Advertiser Latest Stories Feed
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 5354

Council leader slams government cuts as 'attack on Croydon'

0
0

COUNCIL leader Tony Newman has branded a cut to the authority's grant from central government as an "ongoing attack on Croydon" after 2015/6 budget figures were revealed last week by Whitehall.

The Government last week unveiled the amount of grant funding it would provide for councils in England.

Croydon will suffer a £5.8 million cut to its revenue budget next year – a cut of 1.8 per cent to the £322 million it received overall this year – though in line with the average level of cuts throughout the UK.

Councillor Newman told the Advertiser "enough was enough" when it comes to cuts from central government and criticised Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell for voting through the settlement.

Mr Barwell said that both Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have "made it clear that a Labour Government wouldn't give local government any extra funding next year".

The £5.8 million cut will not mean the council will have to cut extra services or find additional savings above the £33 million identified in its draft 2015/16 budget, said Cllr Newman, because officers had "anticipated the bad news".

He said: "Across the board, including the reduction in some of the welfare support, it's an ongoing attack on Croydon and local government generally.

"Although I'm pleased we kept council tax bills frozen for next year, council tax only contributes some of the money a council such as Croydon receives. Therefore, the direct grant from central government is absolutely vital in the provision of local services and the figure is now over 40 per cent cuts to this council's budget compared to five years ago – and that is hugely damaging."

"I am appalled that yet again Gavin Barwell has voted to cut Croydon Council's share of the national budget.

"He says one thing locally and then votes for cuts in Westminster that he knows will harm Croydon."

Mr Barwell pointed out that Croydon will next year benefit from £9.65 million boost in funding from the New Homes Bonus, given to authorities where extra housing is completed against pre-set targets.

Without that extra funding, the council's revenue budget would have suffered a £15.45 million cut. He said: "Tony Newman needs to wake up to the fact that the country is still struggling to recover from the financial mess the last Labour government left us in – and tough decisions have to be made.

"Indeed, things might be even worse for Croydon if [a Labour government] were in charge because Ed Miliband has said he will scrap the New Homes Bonus, the one part of the local government finance system that works in our favour.

He also criticised Cllr Newman for setting up a £200,000 Fairness Commission. "Running Croydon Council isn't easy in such circumstances but wasting money on a Fairness Commission and proposals to change the name of East Croydon station doesn't help."

Sarah Jones, Labour's prospective challenger for Mr Barwell's seat, said he had "voted against the interests" of Croydon. She said: "The people of Croydon deserve fair funding from Government. In the last four years Croydon and other urban boroughs have had disproportionate cuts to their budgets, with funds diverted from areas of serious need to wealthy rural areas.

"We desperately need investment in local NHS services and to deal with the huge shortage of primary school places."

When he unveiled the funding settlement in the House of Commons last week, communities and local government minister Kris Hopkins said that the settlement is "fair to all parts of the country".

He said: "Every council should be able to deliver sensible savings while protecting frontline services for local taxpayers."

Council leader slams government cuts as 'attack on Croydon'


Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 5354

Latest Images

Trending Articles





Latest Images