As a Member of Parliament, national and international issues often dominate the media. When out talking to my constituents though it can be those things on our doorstep that we see every day that are the cause of the most complaints.

I regularly visit areas where there are hotspot issues with anti-social behaviour, fly tipping, dangerous speeding and bins not being emptied. During these visits I bring agencies together like the police, council and housing providers to resolve matters. Casework about these issues are the biggest issues day to day. Many problems are resolved successfully but there is often one stumbling block, funding.

This is why the council budget so important and this month the new budget came into force, following the full council meeting in March. It was the first opportunity for the new Labour-run administration to make changes.

The issue for every council up and down the country is the space or ‘wriggle room’ within the budget to increase spending.

The backdrop to Bolton Council’s budget comes in the light of forced council tax rises from central government and cuts to the budget given by thegovernment to local authorities. The overall council budget is split between council tax paid by Bolton residents, business rates paid by local business and Government grant. Under the Tories, since 2010, Bolton residents and Bolton businesses are paying more towards council services, while the government has reduced its share significantly.

According to SIGOMA, the association that represents all municipal authorities, Bolton Council has seen its spending power cut by 30 per cent since 2010. This is a huge loss of investment for a town like Bolton. Contrast that with the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt’s local authority in Surrey, which has been cut by only seven per cent over the same period.

Many of my Conservative colleagues in Parliament try to portray this as some kind of inevitable event out of anyone’s control, but the cat was really let out of the bag by the Prime Minister himself.

Speaking to a group of Conservatives in Tunbridge Wells during his leadership bid he proudly declared, "we inherited a bunch of formulas from Labour that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone. I started the work of undoing that." So much for levelling up.

It is a repeated pattern of this current government. Not only have they wrecked the economy with the disastrous mini-budget, they are actively pushing the scales even more in the favour of the South.

The local elections are less than a week away. It is also time for a general election so the people can finally have their say on the last 14 years.