Martin Ford 09 October 2018

English councils undergoing harshest spending cuts

English councils have been hit twice as hard by spending cuts compared to their Scottish and Welsh counterparts, according to a study published today.

The University of Cambridge found that councils in England had suffered an average service spending fall of almost 24% since 2010 - compared to 12% in Wales and 11.5% in Scotland.

Researchers suggested devolved powers have enabled the Scottish and Welsh governments to mitigate the harshest cuts.

Councils most reliant on Whitehall grants, with lower property values and fewer other funding sources, have been hardest hit.

Dr Mia Gray, who conducted the research with Dr Anna Barford, said: ‘The idea that austerity has hit all areas equally is nonsense.'

All 46 councils that reduced spending by 30% or more are located in England, with the deepest cuts in the north, including Salford City Council, and South Tyneside, Wigan, Oldham and Gateshead MBCs.

Southern England has experienced ‘relatively minor’ service cuts, according to the research.

Dr Gray added: ‘The councils in greatest need have the weakest local economies.

'Many areas with populations that are ageing or struggling to find employment have very little in the way of a public safety net.

‘The Government needs to decide whether it is content for more local authorities to essentially go bust, in the way we have already seen in Northamptonshire this year.’

A separate survey also released today has found almost two-thirds of the public want more spending - even if it means tax hikes.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Marketing and Recruitment Officer (Adoption)

Bolton Council
£28,227
You will be passionate about promoting adoption to attract prospective adopters. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Assistant ICT Solutions Partner

Bolton Council
£31,894
At Bolton Council we have an excellent opportunity for someone to join the team. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Head of Technology

Bolton Council
£62,413
Are you a senior ICT professional looking to make your next career move. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Senior Business Change Officer

South Derbyshire District Council
£28,226 - £30,984
A fantastic opportunity to join an ambitious and transforming Council. Swadlincote, Derbyshire
Recuriter: South Derbyshire District Council

Service Director - Community Development

South Gloucestershire Council
From
£84,437
Recuriter: South Gloucestershire Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.