New cuts may lead to 1,000 lost jobs

Darlington and Stockton Times: LOST SLICES: Durham County Council leader Simon Henig used a cake to show how much the authority lost out in the Comprehensive Spending Review last year LOST SLICES: Durham County Council leader Simon Henig used a cake to show how much the authority lost out in the Comprehensive Spending Review last year

MORE than £100m of further spending cuts – and an extra 1,000 job losses – are about to strike North-East town halls, a bleak study warned yesterday.

The day after council chiefs in Newcastle unveiled plans to cut £90m, gloomy local authority leaders raised the alarm over fresh “stealth cuts” planned by the Chancellor, accusing the Government of breaking a promise that no further pain would be inflicted.

They set out a grim future when local councils will have no money to do anything other than provide care for the vulnerable and collect the rubbish.

Simon Henig, the Labour leader of Durham County Council, said: “We are talking about whether we can cut the grass and patch up the roads to avoid pot holes, as well as about our leisure centres and our libraries.

“It will come down to a choice between those things and maintaining our spending on social care for vulnerable children and adults. That’s what’s going to happen to all the councils in our region.”

North-East MPs, who were presented with the study by the Association of North East Councils (Anec), at Westminster, vowed to press the Government to step back from the brink.

But Durham City MP Roberta Blackman-Woods warned: “This Government is not interested in hardship in the North-East. We are told to stop bleating, to stop going on about it.”

Darlington and Stockton Times:

At issue is a complicated series of changes to local government funding proposed in the summer and expected to be confirmed in the Chancellor’s autumn statement, on December 5.

According to Anec, the shake-ups will cut a further £100m-plus from the region, on top of enormous cuts imposed in 2010, when the Coalition first came to power.

Those cuts provoked fury because of a stark North- South divide, imposing reductions of up to £30-per-head on some North-East authorities – while many in the South saw their grant funding rise.

Ministers vowed that no council would be worse off in the financial year 2013-14, because they were already being asked to cope with a shake-up of business rates.

Now, Anec said, ministers were poised to break that pledge, by:

  • Hiking funding for the New Homes Bonus by £500m – by cutting other grants for new housing, benefiting the South at the expense of the North;
  • Creating a £245m safety net from cuts to council grants – instead of from central Government funds, as previously promised;
  • Failing to fully fund next year’s maximum one per cent pay rise for local government workers;
  • Slashing grants for fire and rescue authorities;
  • Holding back £100m meant to be spent on local council redundancies.

Anec warned the changes could cost 30,000 jobs across the country – on top of the existing cull of town hall posts, of which 1,000 were likely to be in the North-East.

Its briefing note reads: “The proposed reduction for local government is unjustifiably high and will result in significant cuts in services, jobs and will be damaging to the economy in myriad ways.”

The warning came a day after Newcastle City Council warned up to 1,300 jobs could be lost under plans to slash spending by £90m over three years. The authority claims it will only be able to provide essential services after 2016.

Local authority leaders will not have been heartened by this week’s borrowing figures which showed the Government borrowing more than ever – prompting fears of another round of budget cuts.

Paul Woods, Newcastle City Council’s director of finance, warned that funding for economic development would disappear, adding: “They will be taking away our tools to achieve business growth.”

Comments (14)

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12:14pm Thu 22 Nov 12

David Lacey says...

"The authority claims it will only be able to provide essential services after 2016".
.
Wonderful news. Why should it do more? Why should it rip off residents to the tune of hundreds of pounds. Why should it employ thousands of people in non-jobs?
.
The time has come to bring this madness to an end.
"The authority claims it will only be able to provide essential services after 2016". . Wonderful news. Why should it do more? Why should it rip off residents to the tune of hundreds of pounds. Why should it employ thousands of people in non-jobs? . The time has come to bring this madness to an end. David Lacey

12:36pm Thu 22 Nov 12

loan_star says...

Well Mr Henig will have to stop getting cakes make for publicity shots now, every little helps.
Well Mr Henig will have to stop getting cakes make for publicity shots now, every little helps. loan_star

12:37pm Thu 22 Nov 12

loan_star says...

Well Mr Henig will have to stop getting cakes made for publicity shots now, every little helps.
Well Mr Henig will have to stop getting cakes made for publicity shots now, every little helps. loan_star

1:52pm Thu 22 Nov 12

loonyleft says...

yes it's time to end this madness,so will you tell Cameron and Osbourne or shall i.
yes it's time to end this madness,so will you tell Cameron and Osbourne or shall i. loonyleft

2:20pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Cycling Scientist says...

I know times are tough but I wonder why councils are still not listening to suggestions about how to save money. I had a situation with a town council in this region where I noticed a waste of energy - in fact redundant and badly alighned outdoor lighting of a public building. Pointing that out to the town council in questions proved a painstaking business and my suggestions have been greeted with ignorance. It took ages and the involvement of another council to get to a conclusion. Why ? Did it sound to good to suggest a saving without a job loss that on the same token saved energy and reduced pollution ? I am convinced when the councils would do a frank competition to invite suggestions for saving money from the public and if they would allow more lateral thinking within themselves, other essentail services like libraries would not have to take the full brunt of the cuts. Sadly, in the case mentioned above I just got letters with polite non-statements and I got put into month-long waiting loops, essential treated like a fool and made feeling unwelcome because I came forward with a suggestion that could have saved money and protected the environment. Perhaps having more engineers or scientists in the council halls would help, who knows ?
I know times are tough but I wonder why councils are still not listening to suggestions about how to save money. I had a situation with a town council in this region where I noticed a waste of energy - in fact redundant and badly alighned outdoor lighting of a public building. Pointing that out to the town council in questions proved a painstaking business and my suggestions have been greeted with ignorance. It took ages and the involvement of another council to get to a conclusion. Why ? Did it sound to good to suggest a saving without a job loss that on the same token saved energy and reduced pollution ? I am convinced when the councils would do a frank competition to invite suggestions for saving money from the public and if they would allow more lateral thinking within themselves, other essentail services like libraries would not have to take the full brunt of the cuts. Sadly, in the case mentioned above I just got letters with polite non-statements and I got put into month-long waiting loops, essential treated like a fool and made feeling unwelcome because I came forward with a suggestion that could have saved money and protected the environment. Perhaps having more engineers or scientists in the council halls would help, who knows ? Cycling Scientist

2:47pm Thu 22 Nov 12

David Lacey says...

Your treatment is typical. It is job preservation - do nothing and you can't be blamed for making a mistake.
Your treatment is typical. It is job preservation - do nothing and you can't be blamed for making a mistake. David Lacey

2:48pm Thu 22 Nov 12

loonyleft says...

hello Gerald,how are you doing-john.
hello Gerald,how are you doing-john. loonyleft

8:39pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Savant_NE says...

Nows the time to Build Council Houses or other investments to bring in income .All the Councils benefits that go straight to private landlords is unbelievable.With housing the housing benefit goes to the council.What are they waiting for , build , build , build .
Become self sustaining.It's good for the econony,jobs and peoples purses. They should stop making excuses and say they are having to cut everything.The council have some highly paid brains in their departments
WAKE UP and start using them.
Nows the time to Build Council Houses or other investments to bring in income .All the Councils benefits that go straight to private landlords is unbelievable.With housing the housing benefit goes to the council.What are they waiting for , build , build , build . Become self sustaining.It's good for the econony,jobs and peoples purses. They should stop making excuses and say they are having to cut everything.The council have some highly paid brains in their departments WAKE UP and start using them. Savant_NE

9:36pm Thu 22 Nov 12

sherburn says...

It Really is about time MP Roberta-Blackman Woods and Simon Henig woke up they talk so arragontly as if this is nothing to do with Labour I have voted Labour all my life but never again they are as Guilty as anyone and as for Mr Henig and the rest of them they are not even bothered about Leisure Centres etc etc its time they cut the waiste of management within the county council instead of hitting the people at the bottom of front line services.

Jobs for the boys still its a laugh a minute. Durham County Council has a labour run council who decide how the money is spent they need to wake up to money they have waisted in the past through incompetence
It Really is about time MP Roberta-Blackman Woods and Simon Henig woke up they talk so arragontly as if this is nothing to do with Labour I have voted Labour all my life but never again they are as Guilty as anyone and as for Mr Henig and the rest of them they are not even bothered about Leisure Centres etc etc its time they cut the waiste of management within the county council instead of hitting the people at the bottom of front line services. Jobs for the boys still its a laugh a minute. Durham County Council has a labour run council who decide how the money is spent they need to wake up to money they have waisted in the past through incompetence sherburn

9:35am Fri 23 Nov 12

David Lacey says...

Welcome to the world of sanity Sherburn. A sinner who repents is to be applauded. The North East will remain a backwater until we get rid of Labour and leave the EU.
Welcome to the world of sanity Sherburn. A sinner who repents is to be applauded. The North East will remain a backwater until we get rid of Labour and leave the EU. David Lacey

8:06pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Idontknowaboutyoubut says...

Do not point the finger of blame at Labour.That one has worn a bit too thin to be a valid excuse anymore.The real culprits are the Tory led coalition,with their determination to cut back the public sector to the point of no return.The gaps,they hope and trust,will be filled by their profiteering tory-voting chums in the private sector.If you think that represents a good deal for the tax payer,think again.It will cost us.It always does
Do not point the finger of blame at Labour.That one has worn a bit too thin to be a valid excuse anymore.The real culprits are the Tory led coalition,with their determination to cut back the public sector to the point of no return.The gaps,they hope and trust,will be filled by their profiteering tory-voting chums in the private sector.If you think that represents a good deal for the tax payer,think again.It will cost us.It always does Idontknowaboutyoubut

8:41pm Fri 23 Nov 12

peter laidler says...

Perhaps Roberta Blackman-Woods should take a leaf out of her colleagues book i.e. David Miliband; have a few good foreign jollies and do a bit of private work, after all its netted him a cool £400 grand. That's way beyond what most of us could ever put 'aside' after a lifetimes work. Is that what Simon Henig has his sights set on one wonders?. While I'm of no particular political persuasion I would draw to these peoples attention what Cameron told the EU only today; Join the real world. All this talk about hardship in one breath and then pontificating about Durham County Councils' 'master' plan for the future, Are you people for real?
Perhaps Roberta Blackman-Woods should take a leaf out of her colleagues book i.e. David Miliband; have a few good foreign jollies and do a bit of private work, after all its netted him a cool £400 grand. That's way beyond what most of us could ever put 'aside' after a lifetimes work. Is that what Simon Henig has his sights set on one wonders?. While I'm of no particular political persuasion I would draw to these peoples attention what Cameron told the EU only today; Join the real world. All this talk about hardship in one breath and then pontificating about Durham County Councils' 'master' plan for the future, Are you people for real? peter laidler

6:01pm Sat 24 Nov 12

sherburn says...

Idontknowaboutyoubut I do point the finger at Labour so deal with it, pathetic reasons for backing the Labour party are wearing thin more like, I think some of the coalition policies are fantastic like getting people into work and off benefits the ones who have never worked a day in their life some of them where as Labour would say here here, here is some money to stay at homeand earn more than people who are going out to work etc etc,
Idontknowaboutyoubut I do point the finger at Labour so deal with it, pathetic reasons for backing the Labour party are wearing thin more like, I think some of the coalition policies are fantastic like getting people into work and off benefits the ones who have never worked a day in their life some of them where as Labour would say here here, here is some money to stay at homeand earn more than people who are going out to work etc etc, sherburn

10:26am Thu 6 Dec 12

sherburn says...

haha well thank you David
haha well thank you David sherburn

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