Glenda Jackson, Labour Member of Parliament for Hampstead & Kilburn, slammed local government cuts as an attempt to destroy the welfare state through the back door.
Glenda said:“ Councils provide many of the frontline services we all rely on, and protect some of the most vulnerable in our community. The latest cuts to their budgets are of such a scale, they have no choice but to stop providing some services altogether.
Up and down the country, Councils of all political colours are having to make cuts and increase charges to balance the books, and as usual it will be the most vulnerable – children and the elderly; the disabled and mentally ill – who will suffer most. These cuts are an attack on our community.”
Claims by government ministers that local government cuts are designed to reduce waste have also been rejected as a smokescreen by Ms Jackson.
“Ministers are playing a blame game, trying to argue these cuts are about executive pay or backroom efficiency, but the sums don’t add up.”
The Borough of Brent which forms part of my constituency faces cuts of £37million next year alone. They could fire every senior manager in the Council and only save a fraction of that amount. It’s obvious these cuts are about dismantling the welfare state.
Ministers should stop trying to mislead the public, and come clean
Further to my post of Central Government Grant reductions here, I mentioned that I would provide greater detail to reduction in Central Government Grants allocated to Brent Council. In particular, this blogpost will focus on reductions to the Performance Reward Grant.
I cannot stress the importance of Central Government Grants to Local Authorities. Brent Council receive around 80% of our funds from Central Government. 20% is raised through Council Tax.
In simplified terms, the Performance Reward Grant is awarded to Local Authorities to provide services. Reductions from the Coalition Government to our Performance Reward Grant impacted on multiple services. Below are just some of those impacted:
£71,000 cut to Domestic Violence Prevention Programme. This money contributes to an advocacy advice service.
£60,000 Volunteering Programme cut which was previously funded through the Performance Reward Grant.
£287,000 cut in Sports Development for disabled children and diversionary activities for children at risk of getting involved in crime schemes as well as encouraging adults to be more physically active.
£90,000 cut the Performance Reward Grant which was used for the Sustainability Green Zones scheme. Project support funding from National Government was halted resulting in the loss of two members of staff.
£155,000 cut to a range of work to tackle Climate Change. Brent may now only be able to pursue meeting statutory minimums in this area.
£100,000 cut to Library funds which was to be spent on improving library book stocks.
£83,000 cut to Private Housing Services which was set to be used to meet the demand needed for the Disabled Facilities Grant. This Growth would have provided two new surveyors for Brent.
£90,000 income maximisation cut which focused on reablement and hospital discharge projects. This was to support 500 people between the summer and March 2011.
Stay tuned for the hidden grant cuts to Children and Families Grants, the sector for which Brent Central MP Sarah Teather has Ministerial responsibility for throughout the whole country. The impact on cuts to these services to Brent is despicable. Especially seeing as we have a Government Minister imposing these cuts on our own children.
Our MP Sarah Teather was critical of everyone but herself when this development was being pushed forward by Barnet Council and Mayor of London Boris Johnson seemed in favour of it.
Lets look at the facts. Labour Secretary of State John Denham called in the developed and it was put on hold. A few months later Sarah Teather and Eric Pickles are Government Ministers and the Development gets the go ahead. All of a sudden Sarah Teather is silent on the issue.