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Monday, 06 July 2015

Funding blow for Barrow Borough Council

BARROW faces another financial hit after the government revealed its spending power is to be slashed.

Eric pickles2

BARROW faces another financial hit after the government revealed its spending power is to be slashed.

Barrow Borough Council is to lose up to 18.65 per cent from its annual spend, making it one of the worst-hit authorities in the government’s funding allocations announced yesterday.

However, a transition grant of £1,132,000 could see the cut partly mitigated – but only if the council meets government criteria on efficiencies.

And even if the grant is applied, the council’s spending power would still drop by 9.8 per cent.

When announcing the figures in the House of Commons yesterday, secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles, said no council would face a reduction worse than 8.8 per cent “thanks to a new efficiency support grant”.

But authorities wishing to qualify for the grant “will have to improve services,” he said.

Mr Pickles said: “It is unfair on the rest of local government to expect them to subsidise other councils’ failure to embrace modernity.”

Yesterday, the Department for Communities and Local Government was unable to comment on the figures.

Executive director of Barrow Borough Council, Phil Huck, said officers had received no official confirmation of the figures and he could not comment until they did.

Leader of Barrow Borough Council, Councillor Dave Pidduck, said he would have to sit down with officers once the figures had been received to digest them and continue work on preparing the council’s budget for the next financial year.

He said: “Until I actually sit down with officers and they take us through them and we get an idea of what it is, then it is a nervous wait.”

The Barrow figure dwarfs the national figure of an average 1.7 per cent drop, with Copeland also set to lose 4.6 per cent from its annual spending power from May.

South Lakeland will see a 2.7 per cent drop, and at county level Cumbria County Council will lose two per cent.

Mr Pickles released a document containing 50 practical ways councils could save money and said the cuts were fair.

He said: “Councils must keep doing their bit to tackle the inherited budget deficit because they account for a quarter of all public spending and still get through over £114bn of taxpayers’ money each year.

“Today’s announcement is a fair funding deal that will reward councils ready to strive for their communities and gives them another year to get their house in order.”

Have your say

Well someones been given photoshop for Christmas!

Posted by Rob on 20 December 2012 at 18:04

Peering into my crystal ball I foresee a rise in council tax of betweem 1.75% and 1.95% to keep the status quo going for services/employees/pensions.
I also foresee Mr Pidduck and co putting 'front line services 'under threat'.

Posted by Tony on 20 December 2012 at 17:13

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