Barbara Keeley MP

LABOUR MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR WORSLEY AND ECCLES SOUTH

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Barbara slams Government for handing millions to wealthiest councils

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Barbara has slammed the Conservative Government’s decision to give Conservative councils most of the money from a £300 million Government fund set up to ease the blow of Government cuts to council budgets. Wealthier local authorities like Surrey and Cheshire East are receiving extra funds but Salford Council will receive nothing. Surrey Council is being given the most from the fund, with an extra £24 million. In Greater Manchester only Conservative-run Trafford Council will benefit from the Government’s fund.

Only £17 million of the £300 million funding will go to Labour-run councils across the country, despite the fact that those councils have suffered the harshest cuts since 2010 and most have much higher levels of deprivation.

Adult social care has suffered deep cuts since 2010, but the Government’s plan is that Salford and other councils can increase council tax by 2% over the next four years to pay for social care. However, levying the extra council tax would only raise £1.6 million in Salford this year. This compares to cuts of £15 million the council has had to make to adult social care since 2010 and leaves the council with a substantial funding gap for services.

Barbara said:

“Once again the Conservatives are helping their own councils and ignoring the areas of the country which are in most need. This is a deeply unfair way to allocate funding.

“Since 2011 Salford Council has been forced to make £118 million of savings and the Conservative Government told the council last year to save another £56 million. Salford Council is doing everything possible to protect our vital frontline services, but the council can only do so much with the reduced funding that it has. Government cuts mean we are seeing mounting pressure on all our local services, including social care services, public health, services for children and young people and other community services.

“I have consistently raised with Ministers the impact that cuts to adult social care have on the people who need those services. Failing to fund social care properly also means mounting pressure on the NHS, and we are now seeing delayed discharges from hospital at record levels. The Government cuts means many fewer people in Salford can have publicly-funded care, leaving their needs going unmet and putting pressure on family carers.

“It is an insult to the people of Salford for the Conservative Government to leave our services struggling while shamelessly handing over financial support to wealthy areas like Surrey, and to Tory Trafford. This is a blatant misuse of public money.”

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