Notts residents have been amongst the hardest hit in the country by Government cuts to local services.
Coping with Cuts? Local government and poorer communities’, 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 and north of England.
This supports the findings of Notts County Council’s own study, which 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 Notts over the same period.
Overall, the total cut in Government funding for services per Notts resident will be around £103 between 2008 and 2015.
The county council is facing a budget deficit of £154million over the next three years and has been forced to draw up budget proposals which will see cuts to services across all council departments and around 750 job losses.
This is despite the council already having made £113million in cuts and losing 2,500 jobs since 2011.
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.
It said that a ‘retrenchment’ of local government services is underway, with councils delivering fewer functions, concentrated on the most vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.
Coun Alan Rhodes, Leader of Notts County Council, said; “This is further clear and damning evidence that areas with high levels of deprivation, such as Notts, have been hit hardest by these brutal cuts which would have been excessive, even if they had been applied fairly.”
He said government funding for services was reduced by £19million last year, with a further £79 million cut threatened over the next three years.
He added: “If our cut had been nearer to the 15 per cent of some southern county councils, instead of the 21 per cent we are facing, our budget gap would have been around £13.5million 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.”
The 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 Notts campaign.
The campaign is calling for the Government to address the inequalities in the way funding is distributed.
To show your 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 Notts 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.”