Council leader’s response to Chancellor’s comprehensive spending review
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Mohammed Pervez responds to Chancellor George Osborne’s comprehensive spending review, which will see local government face a further 10 per cent cut.
Councillor Pervez said:
“The trajectory of these cuts year-on-year is unsustainable and will inevitably put the existence of some local authorities into question.
“Even more collaborative working between partners, sharing services and accepting the fact that some services will no longer be delivered is inevitable.
“Over the last two-to-three years we have been managing the savings by re-engineering services, delayering senior management and cutting waste and duplication. However, as the government continues this onslaught on local authorities, our ability to achieve savings in the back office is getting slimmer and slimmer.
“I would like to reassure our residents that we will do everything in our power to continue to provide quality services, protect the most vulnerable in our communities, and invest in jobs and growth. However, we will see greater impacts on frontline services.
“Welfare reform is also impacting on residents across the city and hard-working families are equally being squeezed.
“The link between the amount of money we get from government and what we have to provide has been broken. We can no longer depend on the government to fund the services that our residents have traditionally enjoyed. The need to generate our own income locally is of paramount importance – we have no choice but to rely on this in order to manage our budgets robustly and to safeguard the future of our city in terms of economic prosperity. Much of that income will need to come from business rates as a result of inward investment and local business growth.
“In understanding the impacts of the recently announced cuts, it is important not to lose sight of the savings that we have already been forced to make, which equates to £77m in three years.
“With respect to our communities, we are pushing for jobs and growth, but this will not happen overnight.
“The devil is now in the detail in terms of what this round of government cuts actually means for Stoke-on-Trent.
Mr Perzev went on to say about how this City needed strong leadership...
“Strong, responsible leadership is needed to pull the city through these difficult times, and I am determined to manage this process through dialogue with our local people, communities and businesses.”