As the Conservative Party Conference comes to a close in Birmingham, Labour politicians from across the West Midlands have called on Prime Minister Theresa May to reverse the austerity handed down to local government under successive Tory governments.

The letter – which has been signed by leaders of councils, MPs, MEPs, the Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands, leaders of Labour Groups, Labour parliamentary candidates and trade union leaders in the West Midlands – as well as Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn – asks the Prime Minster to recognise the impact of austerity on local government, to reverse the cuts, and to give local authorities increased powers to raise and retain revenue locally.

The 2018 Conservative Party conference in BirminghamAdam Yosef
The 2018 Conservative Party conference in Birmingham

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Prime Minister –

We, the undersigned Labour council/group leaders, MPs and PPCs, Police and Crime Commissioner, and trade union leaders in the West Midlands, wish to add our voices to call upon the government to recognise the catastrophic impact which eight years of uninterrupted austerity has had on local government.

Cuts have consequences and the people of the West Midlands have had enough.

Local government is the primary provider of numerous essential services, which allow our country to operate on a day-to-day basis. It is the first port of call for children in need of care, for those facing homelessness and those fleeing domestic abuse and violence or caring for the elderly. We are responsible for quality controls on housing in the rental sector, responsible for maintaining our local infrastructure, preserving our public green space and bin collections and local sanitation. Local councils support libraries, leisure facilities, youth services and grassroots arts.

Budget restrictions (in the form of direct cuts and budget pressures) have meant losses of almost 50 per cent for councils across the country. This has had disastrous knock-on impacts for services, as the stop-gaps that were once in place to prevent destitution have been stripped back. Already, a number of councils have cut their services to a statutory minimum, with more likely to follow in the coming months and years.

The Local Government Association believes that councils will have lost 77 per cent of their budget by 2020, and Conservative Chair of the LGA, Gary Porter, says that will leave an £5.8 billion funding gap for local government. He warned: “We won’t be cleaning the streets, we won’t be cutting the grass, we won’t be putting streetlights on at all, your libraries will go, your potholes won’t get filled up.”

We believe that the huge increase in crime we have seen in recent years, decline in life expectancy and increase in foodbank usage, homelessness and rough sleeping are inevitable consequences of the destruction of the social contract between citizen and state. We believe government’s current path of austerity leads to infrastructural and social collapse.

We therefore call on government to reverse the disastrous policy of austerity that has dominated thinking in the Treasury since 2010 and has been disproportionately weighted against local authorities.

We also demand complete reform of Local Government funding to make councils more sustainable and more accountable to the local electorate. Local authorities should be given the power to set local taxes and retain local revenue, allowing the proceeds of growth to be kept locally.

Yours sincerely,

 

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader Birmingham City Council

Cllr Pete Lowe, Leader Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Cllr Roger Lawrence, Leader Wolverhampton City Council

Cllr George Duggins, Leader, Coventry City Council.

Cllr Steve Eling, Leader Sandwell Council

Cllr George Adamson, Leader Cannock Chase District Council

Cllr Shaun Davies, Leader, Telford & Wrekin Council

Cllr Julie Jackson, Leader Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council

Jack Dromey, Member of Parliament Birmingham Erdington

Richard Burden, Member of Parliament Birmingham Northfield

Roger Godsiff, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Hall Green

Steve McCabe, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Selly Oak

Jess Phillips, Member of Parliament Birmingham Yardley

Preet Gill, Member of Parliament Birmingham Edgbaston

Liam Byrne, Member of Parliament Birmingham Hodge Hill

Khalid Mahmood, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Perry Barr

Shabana Mahmood, Member of Parliament for Birmingham Ladywood

Ruth Smeeth, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent North

Gareth Snell, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central

Paul Farrelly, Member of Parliament for Newcastle –Under-Lyme

Colleen Fletcher, Member of Parliament for Coventry North East

Jim Cunningham, Member of Parliament for Coventry South

Geoffrey Robinson, Member of Parliament for Coventry North West

Ian Austin, Member of Parliament for Dudley North

Valerie Vaz, Member of Parliament for Walsall South

Emma Reynolds, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton North East

Eleanor Smith, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South West

Pat McFadden, Member of Parliament for Wolverhampton South East

Adrian Bailey, Member of Parliament for West Bromwich West

Tom Watson, Member of Parliament for West Bromwich East

John Spellar, Member of Parliament for Warley

Matt Western, Member of Parliament for Warwick & Leamington

 

David Jamieson, Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands

Neena Gill CBE, Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands

Siôn Simon, Member of the European Parliament for the West Midlands

 

Cllr Richard Chattaway, Leader Warwickshire County Council Labour Group

Cllr Bill Hartnett, Leader Redditch Borough Labour Group

Cllr Tony Kearon, Leader Newcastle-Under- Lyme Borough Labour Group

Cllr Adam Farrell, Leader North Warwickshire Borough Labour Group

Cllr Sue Woodward, Leader Staffordshire County Council and Lichfield District Labour Group

Cllr Simon Peaple, Leader Tamworth Borough l Labour Group

Cllr Mohammed Pervez, Leader Stoke-on-Trent City Council Labour Group

Cllr Claire Edwards, Labour Rugby Borough Labour Group

 

Dr. Laura Davies, Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Shrewsbury & Atcham

Deb Bannigan, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Rugby

Gill Ogilvie, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Walsall North

Zoe Mayou, Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for Nuneaton

Mark McDonald, Labour Party Parliamentary Candidate for Stoke-on-Trent South

Rebecca Jenkins, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Redditch

Ian Cooper, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis

Katrina Gilman, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Telford

Howard Beckett, Acting West Midlands Regional Secretary, Unite

Ravi Subramanian, West Midlands Regional Secretary, Unison

Joe Morgan, West Midlands Regional Secretary, GMB

Kate Hudson, Midlands Regional Secretary, CWU

Andrew Scattergood, West Midlands Regional Secretary, FBU

 

Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party

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https://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Tallinn_Digital_Summit_Arrivals_Theresa_May-by-Arno-Mikkor-800x533.jpghttps://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Tallinn_Digital_Summit_Arrivals_Theresa_May-by-Arno-Mikkor-300x200.jpgPaul StringerNewsPoliticsBirmingham,Conservative Party,Conservative Party Conference,Conservatives,CPC,CPC18,Cuts,Jeremy Corbyn,Labour,letter,MEPs,MPs,Police and Crime Commissioner,Politics,PPCs,Prime Minster,Prime Minster Theresa May,Theresa May,Tories,ToryAs the Conservative Party Conference comes to a close in Birmingham, Labour politicians from across the West Midlands have called on Prime Minister Theresa May to reverse the austerity handed down to local government under successive Tory governments. The letter – which has been signed by leaders of councils, MPs, MEPs, the...The latest news, updates and events in Birmingham