Cllr Martin Hill (Con), Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, has appeared on Radio 4’s Six O’Clock news in order to criticise the Conservative government’s continued council funding cuts. He has joined other Council leaders in warning that, by 2020, Councils will only be able to provide the bare minimum statuatory services.
Cllr Hill (who was introduced as Cllr Wall) stated:
“All those other things which aren’t a legal duty will actually have to go by the wayside. And I have to say if the government doesn’t actually give us additional resources in a few years time, I’m not confident as a council leader that we will be operating in a safe manner for the public of this county.”
The County Councils’ Network has warned that England’s largest councils are poised to set out almost £1bn in new reductions to budgets next February – with residents facing another round of ‘unpalatable’ cuts to services – unless government intervenes.
In its response to a government consultation on funding for councils next year, the County Councils Network (CCN) warns that its councils will set out £685m in savings next February to balance their budgets.
In addition, those county authorities say another £233m of ‘unplanned’ frontline service cuts will be needed – which have yet to be identified – unless government provides these councils with new funding next year.
In my opinion, the County Council is part of the problem. It is remote, expensive and monolithic. It should be abolished and replaced by smaller unitary authorities. I also think the Government should recognise and support the vital role of local councils in delivering front-line services.