A new report into how to live with cuts to local services has been published this week, and cash-strapped Nottinghamshire County Council have said it confirms its findings as to how it will affect the people living under the authority.
Coping with Cuts? Local government and poorer communities’, has been published by anti-poverty charity, The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), has confirmed that budget cuts have been systematically greater in more deprived local authority areas in the midlands.
Nottinghamshire residents will be amongst the hardest hit in the country by cuts to local services as they slash £154m from its costs that will affect all services. The council blames the huge reductions in Government grants for the drastic action.
The report shows that every person in the county will suffer a £63 cut between this year and 2015/16 as a direct result of reductions in government funding, double the £29.84 cut per person in Buckinghamshire and £32.74 in Surrey.
Only five counties in the entire country will see a larger cut per person than Nottinghamshire over the same period.
Overall, the total cut in Government funding for services per Nottinghamshire resident will be around £103 between 2008 and 2015.
The JRF report also found that spending on local services is set to fall by nearly 30 per cent between 2008 and 2015 in England and that the chance to make cuts to back office functions and efficiency programmes is rapidly diminishing.
Coun Alan Rhodes, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said; “This is further clear and damning evidence that areas with high levels of deprivation, such as Nottinghamshire, have been hit hardest by these brutal cuts which would have been excessive, even if they had been applied fairly.
“Central Government funding for services in Nottinghamshire was reduced by £19m last year, with a further £79m cut threatened over the next three years. By 2016/17 we will have a total budget of £480m, which is only three-quarters of the £634m required to keep services at current levels.
“If our cut had been nearer to the 15 percent of some southern county councils, instead of the 21 per cent we are facing, our budget gap would have been around £13.5m lower. This could have made a huge difference and avoided the need to make such drastic cuts to services which are valued so highly by thousands of local people.”
Nottinghamshire County Council is calling on local people, community groups, district, town and parish councils, faith groups, the voluntary sector, trade unions and MPs of all parties to show their support for the Fairer Deal for Nottinghamshire campaign.
The campaign is calling for the Government to address the inequalities in the way funding is distributed.
To show support for the campaign, simply add your name to the petition at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/budget
Coun Rhodes added; “Our campaign is not about politics, it’s about fairness. The people of Nottinghamshire need to stand together and send a message to Government that we want a fair deal and that their cuts to our county are unfair, unsustainable and unacceptable.”