As reported in the Barnsley News and Sport and the Barnsley Chronicle, Michael has criticised the Government’s decision to further cut local government funding as new figures revealed Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council will see its budget slashed by £9.3 million.
The authority will see the funds it get from central Government drastically reduced by nearly 27 per cent from £34.56 million this year to £25.26 million in 2017/18.
The funding from Whitehall is essential to the council and helps cover the cost of a range of local government services including social care, education, collecting rubbish and highways maintenance. It is the latest in a series of cuts imposed over the years by the Tory Government.
The council will have to run its services with a total budget of £78.43m over the coming financial year and is being forced to explore others means of funding essential services. The most recent of these has been to increase the council tax precept to help pay for social care costs. Michael is urging residents to support a local petition that calls on the Government to properly address the growing crisis in social care. The petition states that funding adult social care through council tax gives areas the care that they can afford, not the care that they need. You can sign the petition here.
Nationally, the Local Government Association has analysed the Local Government Finance Settlement and estimates that local authorities will receive £2.2 billion less in funding to run local services in 2017/8 than last year. Despite making savings of up to £20bn over the course of the last parliament, local government is facing a funding gap of up to £5.8bn by 2020.
Commenting, Michael said:
"This latest local government finance package is terrible news for Barnsley. Tory cuts to local government funding will put key local services under even more pressure and see local residents footing the bill.
The council has done an excellent job to protect services in very difficult circumstances. But these latest cuts will make that job even harder."