Saturday 24 November 2018

Brent Council fights the cuts via a letter to government ministers

There has been a bit of a battle going on in the Labour Party with activists concerned that Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt, hadn't signed one of several statements/declarations on local government cuts. He appeared to be backing the most mild statement which amounted to little more than a quiet quibble.

Now a motion on the 'Breaking Point' campaign over cuts has been tabled for Monday's Full Council Meeting.  Rather than mounting a militant campaign, going out to the community and building mass support amongst those most affected by the cuts, they are going to send a letter to the government...

Even headteachers furious at school cuts managed to march on Downing Street.

We have Climate Extinction - how about Local Government Extinction?

Breaking Point

Full Council – 26 November 2018 Motion selected by the Labour Group
This Council notes that many council budgets are now at Breaking Point. Austerity has caused huge damage to communities up and down the UK, with devastating effects on key public services that protect the most defenceless in society – children at risk, disabled adults and vulnerable older people – and the services we all rely on, like clean streets, libraries, and the teachers in our schools.
   Government cuts mean that Brent has £177m less to invest in essential and much loved public services than under the last Labour government in 2010; 

   With an aging population and growing demand adult social care faces a gap of £3.5 billion – with only 14% of council staff now confident that vulnerable local residents are safe and cared for; 

   Government cuts have seen local authorities left with impossible choices, and 80% of council staff now say they have no confidence in the future of local services; 

   Brent schools will have lost out on more than £6k per pupil over the last decade, equating to a loss of an entire academic year’s funding; 

   Northamptonshire has already gone bust due to Tory incompetence at both national and local level, and more councils are predicted to collapse without immediate emergency funding; 

   Councils now face a further funding gap of £7.8 billion by 2025 just to keep services ‘standing still’ and meeting additional demand. Even Lord Gary Porter, the Conservative Chair of the Local Government Association, has said ‘Councils can no longer be expected to run our vital local services on a shoestring’. 
This Council condemns Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss MP for stating on BBC Newsnight on 1st October 2018 that the government is “not making cuts to local authorities”, when all independent assessments of government spending show that this is entirely false; and that this Council further notes that Prime Minister Theresa May has also claimed that “austerity is over” despite planning a further £1.3bn of cuts to council budgets over the next year. 

 This Council agrees with the aims of the ‘Breaking Point’ petition signed by Brent Labour councillors, in calling for the Prime Minister and Chancellor to truly end austerity in Local Government by: 

   Using the Budget to reverse next years planned £1.3bn cut to council budgets; and 

   Pledging to use the Spending Review to restore council funding to 2010 levels over the next 
four years. 
This Council resolves to:
Support the ‘Breaking Point’ campaign, recognising the devastating impact that austerity has had on our local community.
 Ask the Leader of the Council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government setting out the funding pressures faced by Brent Council, and calling on the Government to truly end austerity in Local Government.

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