Government’s public service cuts leave Manchester with ‘extremely challenging’ future, says city council chief

By Neil Robertson

Manchester’s future is going to be ‘extremely challenging’ according to a council chief, after the Government’s spending review revealed that the city’s services would face severe cuts.

Manchester City Council will face a funding shortfall of £80million in 2013-15 according to the Executive Member for Finance Councillor Jeff Smith.

Over the last four years the council has suffered a total budget reduction of £250million – and now Councillor Smith says enough is enough.

 “This is bad news,” he said.

“We will continue to do the best we can to maintain services, especially to the most vulnerable, while continuing to invest in the future of the city.

“But with even more funding cuts ahead no one can pretend it is going to be anything other than extremely challenging.”

Manchester has been one of the areas hit hardest by the formula used to calculate how much funding each council receives.

The council have lost 2,800 staff over the last four years and have had to reduce spending by £170million in 2011-13.

Councillor Smith suggested that, had the government used an average reduction in funding, Manchester would have been £1million better off a week by 2014-15.

“If the government had just treated us fairly, we would not be having to make many of the difficult decisions which we are having to make,” he said.

“On behalf of Manchester people, I urge the government to give us a fair settlement this time.” 

Picture courtesy of M Holland, with thanks.

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