Nottingham City Council has seen a £30m (29%) reduction in its main Government grant, announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (December 18th).
Even on the Government’s preferred measure of ‘spending power’ which includes other funding streams, Nottingham has lost £18m (5.5%) against a 1.8% national reduction – and making it one of the worst hit of the Core Cities (4.5% average).
Meanwhile spending power increased by £2.4m (2.5%) in Windsor and Maidenhead and by £27m (3.1%) in Surrey.
Nottingham City Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “It’s disgraceful that once again, Nottingham has been hit harder than leafy affluent places in the south and south-east, when the City Council serves some of the most deprived communities in the country who need support the most.
“It is Nottingham people, including many who are vulnerable, who are bearing the brunt of these Government cuts at the expense of people in other places who are better off and don’t necessarily need the same level of support.”
This settlement from the Government indicates, as we feared, that our Government grant is set to fall from £103m this year to £13m in 2019/20. That is a bleak prospect where council services will be reduced to the bare bones and much of the support that vulnerable and needy people expect and deserve in a caring society will be gone.”
Local Government Secretary of State Eric Pickles had hoped to reduce to the Council Tax cap to 1% but it remains at 2%, meaning the City Council can go ahead with its proposed Council Tax increase of 1.95% so that even more savings will not have to be found.
The council is preparing to set its budget for 2015/16 and has so far identified £21.8m of savings proposals, with a further £5.3m of savings still having to be found before the budget is finally set next year. Government funding for the council has shrunk by £72m since 2010, leading to the council carrying out £123m of savings in its budgets over the past four years.