James speaking in Parliament
James speaking in Parliament

Bury North MP James Frith and Bury Council Leader, Cllr Rishi Shori, have joined forces to slam Chancellor Philip Hammond for failing to use this week’s Spring Statement to commit the necessary funding to local authorities like Bury to allow them to deliver vital local services.

Local government missed out in the Spring Statement, with cuts – which will reach £100 million in Bury by 2020 – set to continue. Local government is facing a funding gap of £5.8 billion by 2020.

Across the country, more than one million elderly people are living with their care needs unmet, half of all councils are unable to meet growing demand for school places and the pay of those delivering frontline public services is down 21% under the Tories.

Speaking after taking the Chancellor to task in the debate on today’s Spring Statement, James Frith MP said:

“The Tories had the opportunity to use the Spring Statement to reverse their tax giveaways to the rich and bring forward the funding needed to end the crisis in local government and support small businesses.

“Instead, business confidence has plummeted and councils have been used as human shields to absorb Tory spending cuts that are bringing local authorities to the brink of bankruptcy. This inaction is unacceptable and irresponsible.”

Cllr Rishi Shori said:

“Year on year cuts brought about by this Tory Government’s infatuation with austerity have left public services in Bury stretched to breaking point. Since 2010 we have had £73 million ripped from our budget and that will rise to £100 million by 2020. For context, that is about the same amount of money that it would cost to bring every road in Bury up to the high standard we deserve.

“Our partners in the police, fire service and other public services have also had massive cuts which have had a real impact on our communities. The Government should think again and give us the money we need to deliver the vital frontline services local people rely on.”

Watch James’s challenge to the Chancellor during the debate on the Spring Statement

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