ANOTHER round of cuts to local Government budgets could stretch essential services to breaking point, Gloucestershire County Council has warned.
At a meeting of the full council on Wednesday (January 22), members of the authority unanimously endorsed a motion claiming further cutbacks could damage Shire Hall’s ability to deliver key services.
The motion tabled by two Labour councillors, Steve Lydon and party leader Lesley Williams, raised concerns about chancellor George Osborne’s intention to cut a further 10 per cent from the department for communities and local government’s budget as detailed in the Government’s spending review for 2013.
GCC is already two years into a four-year programme to make £114 million of ‘efficiency savings’ and councillors believe that more cuts could put the future of local services on the line.
By the end of the current Parliament local Government budgets will have been slashed by 33 per cent, while Whitehall departments will have faced smaller average reductions of around 12 per cent.
During the meeting on Wednesday, councillors from all parties called for local Government to be shielded from further cuts and savings to be made elsewhere.
Tory Cllr Ray Theodolou, said: “Local authorities have done their bit and other parts of Government must see that they too need to contribute.”
Speaking afterwards, Labour’s local finance spokesman Cllr Steve Lydon said: “Local Councils face a financial black hole. Funding is shrinking, while demand for public services is growing.
"In Gloucestershire, the Government expects the county council to cut £37million in the next three years.
"This will have a devastating impact on the essential public services the council provides which will have an impact on people’s daily lives."