Ruth George MP backs ‘Breaking Point’ campaign to end austerity for local councils

Ruth George MP with members of High Peak Borough Council Labour Group.

‘Breaking Point’ campaign exposes the crisis in council finances after £16bn in cuts since 2010 – and warns more councils may follow Northamptonshire into bankruptcy.

High Peak MP Ruth George this week met with the organisers of the Breaking Point campaign to call for a real end to austerity

for local councils.

Cuts by the Conservatives to local government of over £16 billion since 2010 mean councils have lost 60p out of every £1 that the last Labour Government was spending on local government in 2010.  Many councils are now facing a crisis in funding – Northamptonshire has already gone bust, and many others are now facing bankruptcy.

Ruth George MP with Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Andrew Gwynne MP

Derbyshire County Council has seen that 60% cut, meaning they have had to reduce spending by £260m since 2010, with a further £70m to come, resulting in huge cuts to social care, to school support, roads maintenance, youth services and every area of council spending.

But a further £1.3bn of cuts to councils are planned, so the ‘Breaking Point’ petition is the most-signed petition of Labour councillors ever – with over 5,000 Labour councillors calling on the Prime Minister and Chancellor to cancel the further planned £1.3bn cut to councils, and to provide an immediate cash injection to stop children’s services and adult social care from collapsing. It has been signed by almost every Labour councillor in High Peak and has now been handed in to 10 Downing Street ahead of the Budget on 29th October.

Ruth George MP, Labour Member of Parliament for High Peak said:

“We are seeing the impact of Council Cuts in every area of High Peak – from the state of our roads, to the lack of social care support available, cuts to support for children with special needs, and the cutbacks to libraries and buses.  These cuts affect everyone, but those who need most support suffer most.  It’s not right that in the 5th richest nation, our government’s policies penalise children with special needs, vulnerable older people, those who don’t have a car and rely on buses, or don’t have a computer and need the library service.”

The Breaking Point campaign has my total support. Labour councillors have come together in unprecedented numbers to send a clear warning to the Prime Minister and Chancellor that austerity is driving councils to the point of total collapse.

“I’m joining with Labour councillors to deliver a powerful message to the Prime Minister and Chancellor that councils simply cannot take any more cuts. The next Labour Government will sustainably fund our councils and put an end to this crisis. If the Budget doesn’t reverse the further cuts planned to local government for next year then there is no doubt that more councils will collapse into bankruptcy, causing devastating effects for children at risk, disabled adults, and vulnerable older people.”

 

Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of the LGA Labour Group said:

“We’re delighted that Ruth George MP is backing the ‘Breaking Point’ campaign. A record number of Labour councillors have signed the Breaking Point petition in less than two weeks – which shows the depth of anger and concern at the state of council finances. If the Prime Minister‘s claim that ‘austerity is over’ is to have any credibility, she simply must find the money we need to stop vital services from disintegrating.”