Your letters: When devolution becomes a cynical ploy to devolve blame for slashing local services

Library picture: Rodney Sadd (right) when he was campaigning for Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate Matthew Mahabadi.
Library picture: Rodney Sadd (right) when he was campaigning for Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate Matthew Mahabadi.
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As central government is steering local councils to either charge more for local services or drastically cut them, I note most money comes from the Treasury, some 60 per cent of the total, amounting to around £90 billion across England.

But due to the cuts, the Tory-led Local Government Association (LGA) estimates that by 2020, a staggering £20 billion will have been axed from council budgets since 2010.

I know the leader of the South Holland District Council is a big believer in the programme of devolution and localism.

But even with councils getting a greater say in how they allocate money, how will it affect areas already hit by declining industry, or simply the lack of it?

Without a significant boost to funds, devolution becomes a cynical ploy to devolve blame for slashing local services.

Services such as road maintenance and street lighting that keep our towns moving and safe.

Services for our children and young people including schools, children’s centres and nurseries.

Services such as social care and mental health provision for the elderly and disabled.

Services that deliver vital public safety.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. All local councils should be given sufficient funds by central government to provide the services we need.

The UK government spends £200 billion a year on contracting services and buying goods – this procurement power should be embraced to support local jobs and wages.

It is not only the right thing to do, but it would also be good for the wider economy.

It’s all very well some councils hanging on to large reserves for a rainy day, but guess what? It happens to be chucking it down out there.

Rodney Sadd

Spalding