Banbury Constituency Labour Party

Sean Woodcock – We will not shy away from speaking out against cuts to front line services

Cllr Sean Woodcock

Cllr Sean Woodcock

Sean Woodcock, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Group on Cherwell District Council, slams Chancellor George Osborne for his broken promise of 2011 in which he said, that “We have already asked the British people for what is needed, and … we do not need to ask for more”.

Sean says, “Between 2010 and 2015, the level of grant paid to Cherwell District Council will have been cut by nearly 44%. Despite this, in last week’s Comprehensive Spending Review for 2015-2016, we learned that in cash terms, there will be further cuts to Local Government of 8.2%”

It is clear that Cherwell, like all councils, will be forced to make tough choices. As Sir Merrick Cockell, Chair of the Local Government Association has said, “these cuts will stretch essential services to breaking point in many areas. While positive steps have been taken to target NHS funding and social care, the fact remains that some councils will simply not have enough money to meet all their statutory responsibilities. Services such as culture and leisure facilities, school support, road maintenance and growth-related programmes will bear the brunt of these cuts.”

Heather Wakefield, head of the local government service group at Unison, said: “The announcement of a further cut of £2.1bn in the grants to local authorities in 2015-16 will simply compound the carnage that has already been inflicted on local services and local government workers. Adult social care, children’s and youth services, libraries, leisure services, environmental health and trading standards are some of the services that have been cut, while charges and eligibility criteria for social care have increased. Pay has fallen by 16% since 2010, with further cuts to pay and conditions in almost every council.”

Finally Sean says, “The Labour Group on Cherwell District Council will be responsible in supporting the council where it makes decisions to support growth and protect front-line services. At the same time, we will not shy away from speaking out against these cuts which are ideologically driven, which choked off the recovery and which undermine the basis of a fair society.”

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