More Government cuts for council

The leader of Northumberland County Council has condemned the latest financial settlement from central Government.

The authority says this core funding will go down from £57million in the current year to £11.29million by 2019/20. In 2013/14, it received £90.5million from the Government.

Cuts of £44million in revenue are in the process of being implemented this year and next.

Following the settlement earlier this month, Northumberland will receive an 80 per cent reduction to its core funding over the next five years.

This is the largest amongst the North East Combined Authority – which has an average of 69 per cent, against a national average of 75 per cent.

County council leader Grant Davey said: “The Government seems determined to decimate local government. It’s unbelievable and another attack on rural areas.

“Ministers expect us to make up the shortfall from council tax and business rates.

“Yet again, local government has taken the bulk of the hit in the Government’s cuts. This can’t go on.

“Already in Northumberland, we are consulting on closing a fire station, have cut post-16 school transport and subsidised bus routes to make these unfair cuts and there are many more examples. These are not things we want to do, but we have been given no other choice by this Government.

“We are doing our best to protect front-line services such as libraries and tourist information centres by co-locating them with other council services to significantly reduce costs, whereas other local authorities have closed them altogether.

“However, there will soon be nothing left to cut. We are reaching the tipping point now where even the most vital and statutory services will be hit.”