Stop the growing north-south divide

I’ve given my backing to a campaign to ‘Stop the Growing Divide’ between the south of England and northern communities which are being hardest hit by government cuts.

The Special Interest Group of Municipal Authorities (SIGOMA) has launched an e-petition to ask government for a discussion about how to put fairness at the top of the agenda. I’ve joined a long list of Council Leaders and MPs in giving their support to the campaign and standing up for local government.

Local government has suffered a cut of 35% between 2010-11 and 2015-16 according to latest estimates. Councils have been amongst the worst affected under each successive budget since the Spending Review of 2010. Projections for 2017-18 have suggested a difference of over £900 per head in cuts between the least and worst affected places.

With welfare reform and further cuts ahead, this trend cannot be sustainable. Council leaders across the country have warned government of the risk of service failure from further cuts. Leading thinkers have shown that if our national economy becomes more regionally imbalanced there will be little chance of sustainable long-term national prosperity.

We’re asking the government not to turn its back on those towns and cities that have made this country wealthy. Instead, they should help regenerate these areas before the impacts of current policies become irreversible.

If you, like me, are concerned about the inequity of the cuts our city is facing, please sign the e-petition.

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