Local Government is at the heart of local communities. Councils look after the most vulnerable in society and make local spaces greener, cleaner and safer. Yet over the last nine years this disastrous Tory government has targeted its austerity agenda at the most deprived areas of the country. This has all been done through the guise of manipulating existing funding models, but it’s about to get worse.
In December whilst attention was focused on Brexit, the government proposed to change the way it funds councils. Instead of focusing on the most deprived areas or those with the most need, they’ll introduce new funding streams predominantly aiding more affluent Tory areas. This at a time when the Government should be reinvesting in these areas not cutting them ever more to the bone.
The fact is between 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost 60p out of every £1 that the Government provides our communities for services. This has left local services today facing a funding gap of £3.2 billion. And by 2025 this will rise to £7.8 billion.
In addition, the most deprived areas of the country are being hit particularly hard. Nine of the ten most deprived councils in the country have seen cuts of almost three times the national average cut of £254.
Under a Labour Government, all councils would be £1.5bn better off this year, just for day to day services with £8 billion also identified for the big social care pressures also affecting top tier councils.
A Labour Government will support working people by investing in new affordable homes to rent and buy. We’ll join up services from home to hospital with a properly integrated health and social care service. And we’ll deliver parity of esteem for mental health provision.
And it’s a Labour Government that will share power to local areas such as devolving powers and funding to local transport authorities, so that local communities can determine their own priorities.
Today’s local election give us the opportunity to send Theresa May a clear message that we know the Tories don’t stand up for our communities and that they are putting family prosperity and Britain’s future at risk. Only Labour can stand up for our communities.