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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Barrow Borough Council to be “clobbered” by savage government cuts

BARROW Borough Council is one of the councils to be “clobbered” the hardest by savage cuts in government funding, according to Lord Tony Greaves.

The Lancashire-based peer singled out seven councils – including Barrow – for sympathy during a forthright speech in the House of Lords.

The scathing assessment comes after the announcement last month that Barrow would lose a significant percentage of its annual spending power as a result of funding cuts.

Lord Greaves – a Liberal Democrat who also sits on Pendle Borough Council – took particular issue with the government’s new conditional efficiency support grants.

Under the grants scheme, councils that meet certain criteria set out by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) can receive additional funding.

In Barrow’s case that could mean an extra £1.1m, but Lord Greaves said the changes to the funding system left councils without a hope of drawing-up a meaningful budget.

“We have to subject ourselves to this extraordinary procedure, whereby ministers in the DCLG will assess whether we have qualified for this new efficiency grant,” he said.

“Of course, we have to assume that we will get it in order to make any sort of sensible budget.

“The whole system that is set up for this small group of councils is absolutely crazy – nobody could dream it up.”

Barrow Borough Council leader Councillor Dave Pidduck said he had assured council staff before Christmas that despite the cuts, their jobs were safe.

“We have been clobbered – there’s no way around it,” he said.

“We’re the fourth worst hit in the country this year and were the second worst hit last year.”

Cllr Pidduck said next year’s budget proposal would be presented to the executive committee today, ahead of the full council vote next month.

In December, secretary of state for communities and local government Eric Pickles said the country’s most efficient councils should not be punished for the poor performances of others.

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

Have your say

That will save our Councillors a job then, wont it? At least thats one pleasure they wont be able to Enjoy!

Posted by Wally. on 24 January 2013 at 15:16

And I bet councillors expense ans travel claims are not cut.

Posted by Barrow Lad on 24 January 2013 at 04:29

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