Greater cuts for Labour led councils
- Published on Wednesday, 14 November 2012 12:41
- Posted by Vicki Mitchem
Figures released by Newcastle city council have prompted an investigation by the Guardian into council cuts in predominantly urban, Labour led areas.
43 of the 50 worst hit areas are Labour led councils, facing an average cut of £160 per head whilst 42 of the 50 least hit areas are Conservative, where budgets are being cut by an average of £16 per head.
The figures have prompted Tory critics to ask whether the government is bias towards Conservative strongholds, leaving them widely unaffected.
An interactive map, showing the hardest hit areas in red, clearly shows northern city centre areas including Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle amongst the most affected. These city councils will have to look carefully at spending and could face bankruptcy.
Labour leader of Newcastle city council, Nick Forbes said, "If this goes on, by 2018 we will see the end of local government as we know it. Many councils are staring at bankruptcy if the government continues this Darwinian approach of only the strong surviving."
Newcastle is one of the many councils feeling the effects of the cuts already. Mr Forbes continued, "We are having to slash public services that many people rely on. Things like Sure Start and children's centres have had to close, which really make an impact on the cycle of poverty."
Tony Travers of the London School of Economics said councils should prepare themselves to be in an "extraordinarily reduced position in 2020. For all the talk of localisation the UK remains the most centralised government in the western world. Yet the truth is local government is the most efficient of public services."