Austerity has left us 'close to breaking point', says council leader

The Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council has called for the end of austerity, which is driving local authorities 'close to breaking point'.
Warren Morgan, leader of Brighton and Hove City CouncilWarren Morgan, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council
Warren Morgan, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council

Cllr Warren Morgan has written to Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to highlight the issues he said are facing Brighton and Hove City Council and many other local authorities across the country.

This is ahead of the council’s budget proposals for the next financial year (2018/19), set to be revealed next week.

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In this financial year’s budget (2017/18) there were £21m cuts, with £25m of cuts the year before.

It’s estimated that a further £27m will need to be saved over 2018/19 and 2019/20.

Over the last year the council cut 140 local authority jobs, and said that figure will rise to 300 by 2020.

And residents saw a council tax rise of 4.99 per cent in April — a £69.47 rise for an average Band D taxpayer, with a similar rise likely for next year’s budget. Three per cent of the rose is earmarked for adult social care costs.

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Writing to Mr Javid, Cllr Morgan said: “I am writing on behalf of the residents and businesses of Brighton and Hove to urge your strong support in finding additional government investment funding for local public services.

“As a council we have had little choice but to make incredibly painful budget reductions as a consequence of the enormous reduction in our Revenue Support Grant. This has been the case over successive administrations.

“With rising demand from vulnerable adults and children for our social care services, and without an end to local government austerity, I fear we as other local authorities are close to breaking point.

“I am therefore requesting that you and your cabinet colleagues respond sympathetically and positively to this desperately worrying situation facing the city I proudly represent. I will be watching with interest to see how you may have secured help for local authorities to deliver our shared goals in the forthcoming budget settlement, which no doubt will have an impact on the future of local government.”

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To read Cllr Morgan’s letter in full, visit:

To read the letter in full, click {