Leader of Rotherham Council, Chris Read, has joined with Labour councillors from across the UK to call for a real end to austerity for local councils. Tory cuts mean councils have lost 60p out of every £1 that the last Labour Government was spending on local government in 2010. Pressures on councils are increasing – last year councils were forced to spend an extra £800 million on vital services to protect children, and with an ageing population and growing demand adult social care faces a funding gap of £3.5 billion. Across the UK only 14% of council workers are now confident that vulnerable local residents are cared for.
By 2020, Tory cuts to Rotherham Council will have reached nearly £200 million over ten years, with as many as 2,000 jobs lost. Only about half of the Council’s income comes from Council Tax, so Rotherham has been hit especially hard by these funding cuts.
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 use the Budget to cancel a 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.
Leader of Rotherham Council, Chris Read, said:
“The Breaking Point campaign has our total support. We’ve joined together with Labour councillors from across the country to send a sharp warning to the Prime Minister and Chancellor that austerity is driving councils to the point of total collapse.
We are delivering a powerful message to the Prime Minister and Chancellor that councils simply cannot take any more cuts. If the Budget doesn’t reverse the further cuts planned to local government for next year then more councils will collapse into bankruptcy, causing devastating effects for children at risk, disabled adults, and vulnerable older people.”
The Breaking Point campaign has the backing of Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, Andrew Gwynne MP, who said:
“This is a fantastic campaign that has my total support. Labour councillors have come together in unprecedented numbers to send a clear warning 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.”
You can learn more about the Breaking Point campaign and read the full text of the petition here.