A furious council leader has vowed to ‘stick two fingers up to the government’ after Broxtowe was announced as the council hardest hit by spending cuts in the whole country.
Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council, Milan Radulovic, explained that although the government had announced that Broxtowe would suffer a loss in spending power of 6.4 per cent - the highest funding cut in England - the cut in the revenue support grant was actually a crippling 15 per cent. In light of the announcement by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Association said that the cut in central government grants amounted to an average of 8.8 per cent, and warned that town halls will be forced to consider cutting services as they slice an estimated £2.6 billion off their budgets for 2015/16.
However, Cllr Radulovic has vowed not to cut any jobs or services in Broxtowe and to protect the residents living there.
He told the Advertiser: “It is grossly unfair; Broxtowe is the worst treated government authority in the country.
“But I am sticking two fingers up to the government - I will be proposing a budget with no cuts to job or services.”
Cllr Radulovic explained that he would achieve this through a low level rent increase and by taking money from the council’s reserves.
He added: “The budget will continue to protect the people living in Eatwood and Broxtowe, to support the voluntary sector as much as possible, and supporting youth groups to give young people the best start in life.”
Because these cuts mean that the government allowance per head in Broxtowe will dropped by £15.55 to £227.47, the council will be the hardest hit in the country.
Several councillors have already written to their local party minister to demand meetings and an explanation as to why their borough has been hit so hard.
In his speech to the House of Commons, Minister Kris Hopkins defended the cuts and said that they were vital to help pay off the national funding deficit.
He added: “We have yet again delivered a settlement that is fair to all parts of the country – whether north, south, urban or rural.
“English local government is expected to spend over £114 billion this year – around a quarter of all public spending.
“This settlement therefore recognises that local authorities continue to make a vital contribution to helping pay off the deficit.”
Most of the funding for local authorities comes from the central government and a quarter of it is raised through council tax.
Ashfield is facing funding cuts of three per cent which is also higher than the national average of 1.8 per cent.
However, some areas have actually seen an increase in funding from the central government, with Tewkesbury receiving a 3.2 per cent increase and Surrey and Uttlesford a 3.1 per cent rise.