As Salford City Council publishes details of its budget for the coming year, Barbara says the Conservative led-government has hit the city with cuts that are too fast and too deep, whilst not making similar cuts in less deprived areas.
"The Conservative and Liberal Democrat Government is imposing cuts of 28% on local councils over the next four years. The Government has also axed area based grants that helped councils like Salford, which have greater needs than affluent areas of the country.
"Salford is the 15th most deprived area of the country and the cut to Salford’s main grant amounts to £76 for every Salford resident, with further money lost from our area based grant. Wokingham is the 3rd least deprived area of the country but the cut to their main grant is only £22 per person. It is clear that this is deeply unfair.
"The Government’s cuts are also front-loaded, so that councils like Salford have not had time to make efficiency savings which could have allowed more gradual changes.
"I know that the council has worked hard to ensure any redundancies they make will be voluntary and to try to shelter vulnerable people from the impact. It is good that the council looks like it will not change the criteria for eligibility for social care and will continue important work on safeguarding those who need protection.
"The Government’s cuts are too fast and too deep. I call on them to consider not imposing cuts for future years as well as this year. More affluent areas of the country have not been hit by such unfair and deep cuts. The Government should rethink its reckless policies before they do real damage to our local communities."