Derbyshire council accused of ‘disingenuous spin’ over funding petition

County Hall, Matlock.

County Hall, Matlock.

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Conservatives have accused a cash-strapped Labour council of “disingenuous spin” after it launched a petition urging the Government to stop “short-changing” Derbyshire residents.

Derbyshire County Council – which needs to save £157million by 2018 – has started the petition as part of its Fair Funding campaign.

The authority claims that people living in Derbyshire are facing the biggest percentage cut in Government funding compared to all similar councils in England.

According to a council press release, the cut means every Derbyshire household will lose £97 in Government funding for local services this year compared to Buckinghamshire which only loses £52 per household and Hampshire where the cut is even lower at £43 per household.

Anne Western, leader of the Labour-led authority, said: “People living in Derbyshire are taking a bigger hit than any similar county anywhere in England.

“That’s why we’re sending a clear message to Government – enough is enough.

“We can’t keep taking hit after hit. It’s just too much.”

Barry Lewis, leader of the Conservatives on the council, said: “It is is disingenuous to attempt to invoke this north-south divide ideology.

“All councils are taking a hit – this is just a scurrilous attempt to incite anti-Government feeling just before the General Election.

“What is worse is that council resources, officer time and council facilities are being used to influence voters in the county.

“It’s disingenuous spin.”

You can sign the council’s online petition at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/fair