Government cuts "will be the end of local government"
MASSIVE funding cuts will mean “the end of local government in Bolton”, a town hall boss has claimed.
The warning comes as rival party leaders pledged to work together to try to force a government rethink over cuts, which could see up to £63 million wiped from the council’s budget over the next few years.
The Bolton News reported how worse than expected government spending plans had left the council facing cuts of £25 million in 2015-16 — up to £10 million higher than first feared placing up to 400 jobs under threat.
The move could mean budget reductions of £63 million between 2015 and 2018.
At a cabinet meeting yesterday (MON), council chiefs condemned the plans, with Conservative and Liberal Democrat group leaders also agreeing to back calls for a rethink.
Labour Party whip, Cllr Martin Donaghy said: “We all should be grateful to the leaders of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats for agreeing to come together on this.
“If ever the council needs to come together now is the time, we need to do that for the people of this borough.
“To look at the projected analysis, that would be the end of local government in Bolton as we know it.
“How we would deliver services, in terms of what would be left, I can’t even begin to contemplate it.”
Conservative leader Cllr David Greenhalgh said he was in touch with other Conservative leaders over the cuts.
He added: “I said last year if they came back with more disproportionate cuts I would take part in lobbying.”
The proposed cuts include the government “top slicing” 35 per cent of the money it provides for the New Homes Bonus, which was meant to incentivise councils to promote house building, and given it to the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership instead — a sub-regional body which aims to encourage business growth.
It also plans to slash 10 per cent from what the council was due to keep from business rates collected in the borough.
The cabinet was told a response would have to be sent to the government by the end of August, but council chief executive Sean Harriss told the cabinet preparations for making more savings should begin immediately.
He also warned that finding the £25 million needed in 2015-16 would be harder than finding the £100 million it had already saved in previous years.
Mr Harriss added: “While I would hope that we would be successful with some of our lobbying, we have to prepare.”
Comments are closed on this article.