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Warning over new Government cuts figure
10:07am Friday 20th December 2013 in News
Cuts in Government funding are more severe than figures reveal, Brighton and Hove’s council leader has warned.
The latest announcement of cuts from Westminster would see Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne and Worthing councils all face above average funding cuts leaving bean-counters to go back to the drawing board ahead of next year's budgets.
as they dido not include all money available to local authorities – and the real impact of cuts on town halls was far more severe.
The coalition this week announced councils would face an average of 2.9% cuts in their spending power.
The figure, which takes into account council tax, government grants, new homes bonuses and some NHS funding, varies across local authorities.
Nine Sussex councils were handed cuts below the national average including Rother, Arun, Lewes, East Sussex, West Sussex, Wealden, Chichester, Horsham and Mid Sussex.
However Crawley (-5.1%), Eastbourne (-4.4%), Hastings (-4.2%), Worthing (- 3.4%) and Brighton and Hove (-3.4%) were all slapped with cuts above the average.
Coun Kitcat said the latest announcement would see the council remain one of the worst cut authorities in the country.
He added that the Government figure was misleading with the actual reduction on its spending representing up to 19%.
According to Westminster, the authority would see a reduction of £8.8million in its spending power – working out at £70 less for each household.
Coun Kitcat said: “We are working as hard as possible to make sure services carry on as best as possible and we have been fairly successful in that so far.
“But we will have to wait and see how this will play out in the budget. It’s a case of watch this space.”
Paul Yallop, leader of Worthing Borough Council, said local authorities in the south would feel the impact more than those in the north.
He said: “Councils in the north traditionally had a lot more spending power so the cuts haven’t hit them as hard.
However, it is difficult for us because we never had much meat on the bone.
“It is slightly better than the worst case scenario we had in place for the budget, so I guess we should be pleased in that respect.”
Eastbourne Borough Council faces a cut of £747,000 – 4.4% of their total.
Leader of the council, David Tutt, said: “I would prefer if they stopped hitting local government so hard. I think we have bore the brunt of all the Government cuts since the general election.
“It’s about time central government departments took a hit.
COUNCIL % of budget cut
Brighton and Hove -3.4%
East Sussex -1.5%
West Sussex -0.3%
Mid Sussex 2.8%
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