Councillors against austerity

Doina campaigning to save the NHS

Posted: 14 July 2017

This letter was written by Labour, Green and Lib Dem councillors who form the administration of Stroud District Council in Gloucestershire. Our council is about to face the harshest cuts in the county. This is the text of our letter, with details of how we will be affected. Please do share with us how your council will suffer under the next few years of austerity if the current government continues with its plans.

As local Labour, Green and Lib Dem councillors we have been elected to represent our communities and to provide services that keep our citizens and our streets and our buildings safe.

The Conservative government has cut our funding for the past seven years and we have, reluctantly, made the necessary savings in order to pass balanced budgets as required by law.

It is our moral duty as councillors to ensure we do all we can to prevent any more suffering. Our country and our citizens cannot bear it.

Enough is enough.

At present, a further £3bn cuts are now due to local government. We cannot guarantee that these cuts will not impact on the safety of our citizens. The Conservative government no longer has the moral authority to impose these cuts on its citizens, or to expect local councils to carry out this work on its behalf.

Whatever it takes, austerity must now be stopped. It is an ideology that has been imposed on the country, it has failed to achieve its main aim of reducing the deficit, and it has left in its wake too many stories of personal suffering.

We therefore call on the government to halt the planned cuts to local government funding, and to work with us to find ways to provide local councils with the finances they need to keep our people safe.

Notes

· The Government is cutting Stroud’s Revenue Support Grant faster than anyone else in Gloucestershire. We are the first to lose our grant and will have no grant from 1st April 2018. Along with Cheltenham and Cotswold, we will have to make a payment to Government in 2019/20. Stroud will be required to pay £549,000 – the highest amount in Gloucestershire. Cheltenham and Cotswold combined is just over £600,000.

· The Government is cutting the amount it pays in New Homes Bonus – it will assume a base level of new homes before it pays anything, reduce the number of years it pays the bonus and plans to make no payment if a council does not have a local plan or homes are built on sites approved as a result of a planning appeal. (Stroud District is the only council in Gloucestershire with a local plan approved under the Government’s planning framework)

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