West Lancashire MP Rosie has branded the Conservative government’s funding sop to local councils as a slap in the face to West Lancashire residents.
In recent weeks the Conservative government has cut further the funding grants for both Lancashire County Council and West Lancashire Borough Council. The government even changed the funding formula just weeks before issuing the grants leaving local councils worse-off then they initially projected.
Originally Lancashire County Council expected to lose £65 million from its budget this year. Following the government funding formula change the county council lost a further £11 million forcing budget cuts of £76 million this year alone. Lancashire County Council face a funding gap of £303 million by 2020.
West Lancashire residents will lose vital bus services and see cut backs across other council services due to the scale of these budget cuts.
In response to the outcry from residents and councils over the impact of budget cuts the Department for Communities and Local Government introduced a transitional fund for two years to help councils along with the Rural Services Delivery Grant, to help them appear as if they were listening and putting money back into local councils.
Sadly, the government has used the funds in a partisan manner to support Conservative-run councils and disregarding the needs of taxpayers living in areas with Labour-run local authorities.
From these two new funds West Lancashire Borough Council will receive just £7,225 in 2016/17 and £7,202 in 2017/18 whilst Lancashire County Council will receive £1.11 million and £1.15 million over the next two years.
Conservative councils, including Surrey will receive £24 million, Hampshire will receive £18.7 million and Hertfordshire £15.6 million over the same two year period in comparison to the derisory amounts received by local councils.
MP Rosie said:
“The idea that these derisory sums of money will make a difference in the face of such savage and biting cuts to council budgets is laughable.
“This government’s allocations to Lancashire County Council and West Lancashire Borough Council are contemptible, especially in comparison to the funding received by Conservative-run councils.
“When Lancashire County Council are forced to make £75 million in cuts, offering a £1 million in transitional funding demonstrates that this transitional funding is all about image over substance.
“What makes people living in Conservative-run council areas more deserving than the people of West Lancashire?”