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Council spending per head down 30% since Coalition Government took power in 2010

By jrmaidment  |  Posted: August 05, 2014

Government funding cuts and increasing demand for services have left councils in Gloucestershire struggling to balance the books

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Council spending has fallen by almost 30 per cent per person since the Coalition Government came to power in 2010.

Government funding cuts continue to bite across Gloucestershire and the latest data shows councils have seen their per capita spending dip by 14.5 per cent in cash terms since 2009/10.

Adjust that figure for inflation and it means spending has fallen off a cliff to the tune of 29.1 per cent.

Data compiled by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) suggests council spending levels in 2014/15 are now back to what they were in cash terms in 2005/06.

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The claims are from a surprise in Gloucestershire with the county council one of the worst affected authority’s in the south west when it comes to having its funding sliced.

A report released by Unison at the start of the year suggested Shire Hall’s hand out has shrunk by almost £150 million since 2010.

And that’s not the end of the tale of hardship with the authority expecting further cuts in the next three years.

Councillor Ray Theodoulu (C, Fairford and Lechlade), cabinet member for finance, said:

“Councils have had to make some of the most difficult savings of any areas of government.

“That’s why Gloucestershire has worked so hard to change the way we do business to focus our spending on the most vulnerable people in our county.

“We’ve delivered over £114m in savings so far – and there’s still much more to do.

“It’s only because of those tough national decision that the economy is back on its feet and people in Gloucestershire can find and hold jobs again – something that is absolutely vital for the wellbeing of everyone in our county.”

Borough and district councils have also had a tough time.

Councillor John Rawson (LD, St Peter’s), cabinet member for finance, said the DCLG and CIPFA findings are “broadly in line” with what Cheltenham Borough Council has suffered through.

He said: “Over the past five years, we have lost roughly £4.2 million of Government funding, almost half the total.

“In the next financial year we expect to face a further cut of about £835,000, making it the toughest year yet.

“So far we have been remarkably successful in finding savings without attacking front-line services, particularly by sharing services with other councils.

“Over the past five years we have found £7.6 million a year of savings and extra income.

“But it is getting harder and harder to find budget savings without cutting the services that people need and expect.”

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