NW councils face £465m cuts in ‘spending power’

Michael Hunt

Local authorities in the North West will have a £465m reduction in their spending power, following Monday's local government settlement announcement.

Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, told Parliament that a total of 38 councils in England will see an 8.9% cut in their "spending power" for the 2011/2012 financial year.

The biggest cut in the region is the £72.2m reduction in the "estimated revenue spending power" at Liverpool City Council.

Other local authorities in the North West facing the highest percentage cut included Manchester, Salford, Blackburn with Darwen, and Burnley.

Cllr Joe Anderson, leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "The cuts announced by Eric Pickles today mean Liverpool will be more than £100m worse off over the next two years and is facing the biggest cuts in its services since 1945.

"The coalition government's cuts will hit every family in Liverpool hard. We have been hit harder than every other city – despite having some of the most pressing needs in the country.

"Mr Pickles is playing fast and loose with his figures – and he's playing fast and loose with life-and-death services and people's lives.

"His claim that Liverpool faces cuts of no more than 8.9% is nothing more than financial trickery. The reality is that it will be much higher as the government figures include cash raised locally from council tax, money we receive for health services and other special grants.

"The coalition's cuts will have a severe impact on our ability to attract new jobs and investment to the city. Today will go down as a very bleak day for Liverpool.

"As a result, many roads will go unrepaired, potholes unfixed and streets unswept. Youth clubs will close and libraries will shut.

"The government's own figures prove that those councils with the greatest needs – including Liverpool – will lose out most from the government's decisions on grants and council tax, while the most prosperous areas will be even be better off.

"Cameron's claims of fairness and 'we're all in it together' ring hollow in Liverpool tonight."

Cllr Paul Brant, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance and resources, added: "Based on the government's own figures, Liverpool City Council will be at least £57m worse off next year and an extra £40m poorer in 2012/13. But the devil is in the detail. We are examining the figures line by line and it is likely they will be even worse than the headlines show. The government is taking away a lot of specific grants which help us tackle deprivation. We have lost £11m from our Supporting People grant which is spent on helping the disabled, frail and elderly – the most vulnerable people in the city.

"Liverpool now faces some extremely tough choices about which services we can keep on running. These are severe cuts and will be very difficult for thousands of people who use the services the council provides; from keeping children safe to making sure that streets are clean.

"Today's cuts are on top of the 24 new schools axed [£350m cut from Building Schools for the Future], the 7,000 homes left unrepaired, £8m cut from Housing Renewal, 800 police officers are also being cut in Merseyside.

"We will, as a council, make every human effort possible to try and mitigate the effect of the cuts on the most needy and vulnerable. We have already saved millions by cutting out waste, improving efficiency, reducing senior management jobs and cutting the pay of top staff.

"But the reality is that the scale of the government's cuts mean every neighbourhood, every street and every family in the city will be affected in some way."

Susan Anderson, Confederation of British Industry's director for public services, said some councils are already using methods that include:

  • Making the most of the expertise, experience and innovation of private and third-sector providers to help deliver services
  • Sharing back office functions, such as IT and HR across departments and with other councils
  • Sharing frontline services such as education and children's services, social care, street maintenance and social housing management with other councils
  • Opening up services to competition to ensure the best value for money is achieved

She added: "While the local government settlement is tough, there is a lot that local authorities can do to protect frontline services. The settlement is an opportunity to look afresh at how public services are delivered locally.

"New ways of working and re-engineering delivery can allow local authorities to maintain or even improve public services while saving money."

Below is breakdown of how the cuts have affected local authorities in the North West:

£m change in estimated 'Revenue Spending Power'


% change in estimated 'Revenue Spending Power'


Greater Manchester









































St Helens







Cheshire East



Cheshire West & Chester






















South Lakeland






























Ribble Valley






South Ribble



West Lancashire






  • The percentage change takes into account transition grants, which in the case of Liverpool is £15.55m and in the case of St Helens is £935,000. More details can be found on the Communities and Local Government website

Your Comments

And as usual the poor get poorer!!!! etc; etc;

By Stephen

The Con-dems are determined to take their revenge!


The decision to penalise the most vulnerable and economically poorest communities is fundamentally unjust. Those who caused the problems – speculating bankers, the financial markets and the State that serves them – are rich off the money, the life-blood, of the poorest. Where are the ‘leaders’ of the North West ‘faith communities’? What is happening flies in the face of a shared belief in the covenant with Abraham; it is obscene. Faith communities should be in solidarity with trades unions and students in working for root and branch, radical change….

By mike ravey

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