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Conservative councillor criticises spending cuts

By Bethany English

Conservative councillor Jonathan Coupe expressed his concerns about the distribution of spending cuts among local councils at a resident’s forum last night.

He criticised the fact that Trafford, as a high performing borough, was expected to make 25% spending cuts over the next 4 years when councils with poorer performance records such as Salford would not be required to match this.

He revealed that Salford council are on the brink of being placed in special measures.

However it may be financially more beneficial for them to be in special measures than on the borderline because it would lead to greater central government funding.

Cllr Coupe also claimed that when Trafford is assessed the government does not take into consideration the needs of residents in Old Trafford and Partington, two of the most deprived areas in the country.

 “We get penalised for being good at what we do when some of the big spenders seem to get more,” he said. “You lose more money and you have to do more with less.”

Cllr Coupe said he was worried that residents would penalise local councillors of all parties when they began to feel the effects of the cuts.

Trafford residents at the neighbourhood forum discussed the best ways to go about making the £60million cuts.

One resident said: “Why should my money be spent to support drug and alcohol abusers?”

This refers to the £3milllion spent annually on drug and alcohol support in the community.

Margaret Woodhouse, Direct of Education and Early Years, said there were hard times ahead and difficult choices had to be made. She urged residents to become more involved in their local community.

“Our residents tell us that this is a good place to live”, she said.

“You have a contribution to make to shape its development and support the running of services.”

The discussions are to be held at several locations around the borough in the coming weeks.

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