DERBYSHIRE: Council leader warns of crippling cuts

Cllr Anne Western.
Cllr Anne Western.

Derbyshire County Council’s leader has warned of the crippling effect of Government cuts on services for local people.

Cllr Anne Western’s warning comes following yesterday’s announcement by Chancellor George Osborne that £11.5bn will be cut from Government departments between 2015 and 2016 – including a 10 per cent reduction for local councils.

Cllr Western, whose Labour-led administration took control of the authority in May, said:

“This huge cut in the council’s budget will be felt by people across Derbyshire. People who use our roads, older people who use our social care services, families who use our libraries and our children’s centres – they are the ones who will feel these cuts.

“Although schools and the NHS are being protected from these latest cuts there are going to be changes in the way school funding is allocated that could affect how much our schools receive. We need to see the detail in the Government’s proposals. We don’t know if they will mean that academies and free schools will receive more than other schools.

“We’ll protect frontline services in Derbyshire as best we can. We’ve got to find a way to make these reductions – we’ll prioritise the services local people tell us they rely on most. And on behalf of the people of Derbyshire we will continue to fight as hard as we can for the resources we need to deliver the services they want.”

Cllr Western – together with more than 150 council leaders from across the country – wrote to the Chancellor earlier this month warning him that local councils could not continue absorbing cuts without vital services being affected.