A fair deal for local residents

The Government has imposed the biggest funding reductions in the public sector on local councils.

Funding for local government is projected to fall by 3.9 per cent in 2013/14 and a further 8.5 per cent in 2014/15.

They are responsible for the consequential cuts to local authorities and communities.

Their local government finance settlement is hitting the most deprived areas hardest.

The ten most deprived local authorities in England will lose six times the amount in spending power per head of population compared to the ten least deprived local authorities by 2014/15 compared with 2010/11.

The Prime Minister’s local authority of West Oxfordshire, one of the richest parts of the country, will gain 3.1 per cent in spending power in 2013/14 while Rotherham will face a cut.

Because of the decisions of the Government between 2010/11 and 2014/15 local residents are facing a reduction of £150 per head compared to residents of West Oxfordshire who are losing £60. It’s simply wrong and unfair. We need a fair deal for the people of Rotherham.

David Cameron and Eric Pickles are living in a world of their own. They simply don’t understand the impact that their decisions on funding are having on services and the local people who use and rely upon them.

We already knew cuts were being targeted in an unfair way. Pickles’ Poll Tax, council tax rises for the poorest, comes in on the same day in April as a tax cut for millionaires.

Eric Pickles has lectured councillors that they have a moral duty not to increase council tax bills this year, but the Government are planning a council tax bombshell of their own by increasing the bills paid by people on low incomes.

They are balancing the books for their millionaires’ tax cut on the backs of the poorest through Council Tax rises. It tells you all you need to know about whose side the Government is really on.

This morning I will be attending Bus Users UK’s bus surgery in Dinnington. The event, which is being held on the Market Place, takes place from 10am to 3.30pm and is happening in partnership with Stagecoach, First and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

Many constituents have recently contacted me about local bus services so I hope that this event will give people the opportunity to voice concerns to the bus operators.

I am supporting the forthcoming No Smoking Day on Wednesday 13th March, the annual health campaign run by the British Heart Foundation.

Stopping smoking is not only one of the best things you can do to boost your health but it is good for your bank balance as well.

This year’s campaign is highlighting how smokers can benefit financially by quitting for a day (saving £7), a week (saving £49), a month (saving £210) and a year (saving £2,555).

Nearly one in five UK adults smoke, including 23 per cent in Yorkshire and the Humber, but UK figures show two thirds want to quit.

Quitting can be difficult, but there is lots of local support available and working out what you could afford to buy thanks to savings is a great motivator.

I would encourage everyone in the Rother Valley to give it a go and join thousands of others trying to quit on the day.

The No Smoking Day campaign is now in its 30th year. It helped more than 760,000 people quit smoking last year and inspired another 1.5 million to seek out information to help them quit in future.

For more information on the benefits of quitting as well as top quit tips please visit www.wequit.co.uk