South Holland District Council “will not be wasting taxpayers’ money” on a judicial review of the support grant from the Government that some authorities fear will lead to rioting in the streets.
The authority is expected to receive £4.393 million for 2013-14 but will not know until the figures are broken down over the next two weeks how any cuts will impact the district.
However, a coalition of more than 120 mostly Conservative rural authorities is calling on Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to perform a U-turn on cuts in local government spending.
Sparse – Sparsity Partnership for Authorities Delivering Rural Services – is considering bringing a judicial review against the recent spending settlement, which they say is “grossly unfair”.
Councils supporting the rebellion have accused the Government of “spinning” the level of budget cuts and claim services in remote areas would be “crucified” by the reductions and claim that the shires are losing out disproportionately under the Government’s cuts.
The leaders of three of England’s biggest cities have warned government cuts will lead to the ‘break up of civil society’ with chaos on the streets.
Council leaders of Newcastle, Liverpool and Sheffield, where Nick Clegg is an MP, called for the Government to halt cuts that they say unfairly penalise the north over the south, before ‘crime and community tensions erupt’.
Gary Porter, SHDC leader, said there has always been a divide between the amount of support cities and the shires receive - with South Holland receiving half of Liverpool’s £600 per head.
Coun Porter said the council constantly lobbies the Government for a better deal and new freedoms and powers but felt Sparse was jumping the gun as figures were only released on December 19 and there had not been time to analyse them properly.
He said: “We certainly won’t be wasting taxpayers’ money by backing a judicial review.”
Paul Przyszlak, portfolio holder for strategic finance at the district council, said: “Comparatively for the coming year, although challenging, we do not appear to have done as badly as other authorities.
“However, the following year will present even greater challenges for South Holland District Council, but we remain resolved to maintain our frontline services and reduce costs.”