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County councillors criticise Eric Pickles over local authority funding
11:13am Tuesday 29th January 2013 in News
ANGRY councillors have criticised the Government for “patronising” town halls by the way the cuts in local authority funding were announced.
In a debate at Worcestershire County Council, councillors said they were tired of the “continuing targeting of local government” by local government minister Eric Pickles.
Wyre Forest District Council will see a larger than expected 9.4 per cent cut in funding in 2013/14 followed by a 16 per cent reduction the following year.
In comparison, Worcester City Council face a 19 per cent cut and Wychavon will see a 22 per cent decrease over the next two years.
At the time of the announcement Mr Pickles published a booklet listing ‘50 ways to save money’ for town halls.
During a meeting of full council, the Liberal Democrat group put forward a motion criticising Mr Pickles.
It said: “The further reductions in funding for local services comes on top of the unprecedented cuts councils already have to implement.
“It is bad news for local services and for early intervention and it undermines the role councils can play in promoting economic recovery.
“They deserve better than this patronising booklet on 50 ways to save money.”
It also said delaying the settlements by a fortnight until six days before Christmas reduced the standard six-week consultation period to four and that as it fell during the festive period councils had less time to respond.
During the debate Liberal Democrat county councillor Sue Askin said: “I recognise the need to save money, but I am tired at the continuing targeting of local government by Eric Pickles.”
The motion was agreed but both Labour and the ruling Conservatives decided to add the name of MP Don Foster to the motion, a Liberal Democrat who helps out in the department.