MPs slammed for unfair cuts

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A council leader has slammed the Coalition Government after it was discovered that County Hall has to make three-and-a-half times more savings than Whitehall.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed that council budgets have been cut by 28 per cent while central government budget cuts only amount to eight per cent.

As the new Labour administration in County Hall contemplates a cut to this year’s council budget of £42million, Labour group and Northumberland County Council leader, Grant Davey, has highlighted the imbalance in cuts between Whitehall and County Hall.

He is challenging MPs to justify the action, which will see the county lose 35 per cent of its budget by 2017/18.

He’s drawing attention to Conservative and Lib Dem MPs in Northumberland who have voted for and supported the extended cuts programme. Coun Davey is challenging them to stand up for Northumberland and join the push to get government to think again on the pace of the cuts.

He has already raised the issue of the pace and scale of the cuts in a recent meeting with Labour Party leader Ed Milliband and now he’s challenging Hexham MP Guy Opperman and Berwick Lib Dem Sir Alan Beith to do the same with Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg.

Coun Davey said: “The Coalition Government seems to have it in for councils like Northumberland and seem to see our county as a soft touch when it comes to cuts.

“We were elected in May to make the case for Northumberland’s residents and that’s what we’ll continue to do.

“The Coalition mantra of ‘there is no alternative’ is hypocritical when LGA figures show that for every one per cent of cuts from central government, local government is losing three-and-a-half per cent. This shows that David Cameron’s sound-bite, ‘we’re all in this together’, is the worst kind of hypocrisy.

“It’s high time that Coalition MPs and councillors in Northumberland started to stand up for the county instead of standing up for this Con-Dem Government.”