Austerity likely under Labour control, says leader

 

Deputy Leader of Derby Council Paul Bayliss (Labour)
Deputy Leader of Derby Council Paul Bayliss (Labour)

THE Labour leader of Derby City Council says he expects cuts to Government grants for local authorities to continue, even if his party wins the next general election in 2015.

Finance bosses at the council say it must save £62 million over the next three years in the face of a £26 million cut in grants.

The rest of the cash is made up from inflation and pressures such as Derby’s growing and ageing population.

Mr Bayliss said there was no sign of any let-up to austerity measures if his party took over from the coalition in 2015.

He said:

“Even if we did take over, I don’t see the austerity measures ending anytime soon.

“The angle of attack may change but I don’t see it changing in 2015-16 or 2016-17.”

He said he hoped his party would look at investing more in creating employment opportunities than he claimed the coalition had done.

The city council’s budget for the next two financial years is due to be set on January 30 to give financial certainty to the authority’s departments and the organisations it funds.

Among cuts proposed are 350 job losses, stopping funding for some charities and grassing over flowerbeds.

A public consultation on the 2013-14 and 2014-15 budgets was completed last Friday and has received more than 600 responses.

Council chief executive Adam Wilkinson said: “We’ve attracted more responses than in previous years.

“That’s partly down to the fact that the leader and deputy leader arranged a public meeting at which people could have their say.

“We’ve had representations from a number of organisations and the public. This is one of the most challenging budgets we’ve had to set.”

As the budget for 2014-15 will be set this month, there will be a budget review rather than “setting” next year.

Derby Telegraph

See also: Re: Tory propaganda – A genuine strategy for growth – and how and why Labour Councillors must refuse to apply cuts Posted on January 11, 2013

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