Earlier this week Bradford South MP, Judith Cummins, challenged the Minister of State for Communities and Local Government, Mark Francois MP, on the disproportionate cuts being inflicted on the most deprived areas of the country.
Her question came as the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy published an analysis, demonstrating that the most deprived councils in the UK continue to see the biggest cuts in government funding.
Bradford Council, came close to the top of the local authorities most severely hit by the settlement, ranking 353 out of 383, with 383 being the worst hit local authority. Bradford’s change in spending power was a reduction of nearly 9%. In stark contrast some southern local authorities, such as Tewkesbury, had an increased spending power of over 3%.
Judith said: “The government say time and time again that we’re all in this together, but their actions say something altogether different. There is clear evidence that some of the most deprived areas, often in the north of the country, are being hit far harder than some of the more affluent areas in the south. It’s not fair and it’s not right.
“To add insult to injury, some of the more affluent areas of the country have actually had an increase in their funding!
“The minister’s response again proves how out of touch this government really is. The Government insist that councils can use their reserves to cover the cuts, but this would leave local authorities with no funds to make vital investments in our community, tackle future financial risks and could cause massive problems in the future.
“I’ll be continuing to keep up the pressure on the Government for a fairer deal for Bradford and to adequately fund the vital public services we all rely on from our local council”.