Caroline Flint

Standing up for Don Valley.

Flint and Holland cuts warning

Caroline Flint MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, is calling on the government to re-think its plans for local government funding, warning that the depth, speed and frontloading of its cuts will hit jobs, growth and frontline services.

And Cllr Sandra Holland, Leader of Doncaster Labour Group, warned that Doncaster Council was being put in "an impossible possition."

Following this week’s Commons debate on local government funding, Caroline Flint said:  “In the next few days the government will announce the amount councils receive in grant funding. The choices they make will affect local jobs and the vital frontline services families rely on not just this year, but for years to come.

“The worry for communities across the country is that the coalition is making the wrong choices.

“It’s cutting too deep and too fast, hitting councils with more than twice the level of cuts to their funding than the rest of Whitehall, and frontloading those cuts so council budgets are dealt the heaviest blow in the first year.

“Cuts of this size, imposed this quickly, will hit frontline services. Roads already damaged last winter, could go unrepaired this year too. Potholes could go unfixed, pavements unswept. Streetlights will be turned off. Youth clubs will close. Libraries will shut down. And as more people than ever need help with social care, fewer will find their local council able to help.

“There is still time for the government to look again at what it’s proposing so that their plans are fairer. They could be spreading the cuts evenly over four years, giving councils time to plan where savings could be made. They could be making sure the cuts are spread fairly across the country.

“The danger is the coalition has already made its choice - and communities up and down the country will pay the price.”

Doncaster Council has to make £30million cuts to next year’s budget, out of £70million over the next four years.

Labour Group Leader, Cllr Sandra Holland said:  “The Government must know that asking Doncaster to make almost half of the cuts in the first year puts the Council in an impossible position leading to major cuts in frontline services and about 800 council staff people losing their jobs.   They did not need to cut so fast and deep at the start.”

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