62 Labour Council Leaders and Directly Elected Mayors have written to the Prime Minister to seek assurance that any deal given to Surrey County Council to support their social care obligations, will be offered to all councils. The full text of the letter is below:
The Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
We are writing regarding funding arrangements for Conservative-run Surrey County Council. Specifically, the alleged reason behind David Hodge’s decision to drop a planned referendum on increasing council tax by 15 per cent to cover the severe shortfalls in social care, after apparently holding ‘several conversations’ with Whitehall figures.
It has been widely reported in leaked texts, sent by David Hodge supposedly intended for Nick King, Sajid Javid’s special advisor, that DCLG was working on a ‘Memorandum of Understanding.’
In response, as Leaders of Labour councils and council groups, we have a series of questions:
a) Was a deal struck for Surrey County Council?
b) If so, what are the details of the deal?
c) Why was a special deal struck with Surrey behind closed doors?
d) Does the Government finally recognise that local Government is grossly underfunded and is that why they have given a special deal to Surrey?
e) Does the Government now recognise that there will be a £2.6bn shortfall in social care funding by 2020?
f) If a deal was struck, will Ministers offer the same deal given to Surrey to all councils, regardless of political affiliation, when the Local Government finance settlement is published on 22nd February?
We have a crisis in social care, resulting from the Conservative Government’s cuts to local authority funding. Secret backroom deals are not the answer. We urgently need a proper solution, which means providing councils with the funding they needed to solve this crisis.
Given the public interest in this matter we will be publishing this letter.
Barrie Grunewald St Helen's Council
Mohammed Butt Brent Council
Richard Watts Islington Council
Stewart Young Cumbria County Council
Simon Henig Durham County Council
Nick Forbes Newcastle City Council
Lewis Herbert Cambridge City Council
Peter Martland Milton Keynes Council
Warren Morgan Brighton & Hove City Council
Jaz Athwal Redbridge Council
Sharon Taylor Stevenage Council
Simon Greaves Bassetlaw Council
Peter John Southwark Council
Sam Dixon Cheshire West and Chester Council
Steven Brady Hull City Council
Iain Malcolm South Tyneside Council
Ray Oxby North East Lincolnshire Council
David Budd Middlesborough Council
Jean Stretton Oldham Council
Simon Letts Southampton Council
Sue Jeffrey Redcar and Cleveland Council
Doug Taylor Enfield Council
Susan Hinchcliffe Bradford Council
Mark Townsend Burnley District Council
Hazel Simmons Luton Council
Alan Rhodes Nottinghamshire County Council
Claire Kober Harringey Council
Peter Box Wakefield Council
Christopher Akers-Belcher Hartlepool Council
Richard Leese Manchester City Council
Judith Blake Leeds City Council
Bob Price Oxford Council
Tom Beattie Corby Council
Sachin Shah Harrow Council
Bob Cook Stockton Council
John Clancy Birmingham City Council
Julian Bell Ealing Council
Julie Dore Sheffield City Council
Steve Bullock Lewisham Council
Shaun Davies Telford & Wrekin Council
Terry O'Neill Warrington Council
Stephen Lydon Stroud Council
Phil Davies Wirral Council
Alexander Ganotis Stockport Council
Steve Eling Sandwell Council
Sarah Hayward Camden Council
Peter Lamb Crawley Council
Simon Blackburn Blackpool Council
Steve Houghton Barnsley Council
Jon Collins Nottingham City Council
Robin Wales Newham Council
Alistair Bradley Chorley Council
Stephen Alambritis Merton Council
Darren Rodwell Barking and Dagenham Council
Ian Maher Sefton Council
Ros Jones Doncaster Council
Roger Lawrence Wolverhampton Council
Martin Gannon Gateshead Council
Tim Swift Calderdale Council
Cliff Morris Bolton Council
Pete Lowe Dudley Council
Tony Newman Croydon Council
Kieran Quinn Tameside Council
Anne Western Derbyshire County Council
62 Labour Council Leaders and Directly Elected Mayors have written to the Prime Minister to seek assurance that any deal given to Surrey County Council to support their social care...
Duncan Enright has been selected as Labour’s candidate in the Witney by-election taking place on 20 October.
Duncan, a West Oxfordshire Councillor since 2012, also stood against the then Prime Minister David Cameron at the General Election in 2015, coming a clear second with a record swing and almost winning more votes than UKIP, Lib Dem, Green and other candidates put together.
Duncan has pledged to put the issues that are important to Witney at the heart of his campaign.
Speaking after his selection, Duncan said: “it’s an honour to be selected as Labour’s candidate for Witney.
“There’s never been a more important time for Witney to have a strong, local voice in Parliament standing up for the issues that matter to people across the constituency. This Tory Government is doing immense damage to our area as they push ahead with plans to turn secondary schools in Witney into secondary moderns by bringing back the bad old days of grammar schools, damage our local economy through failing to invest in local transport infrastructure, and preside over the deterioration of local health services.
“I am looking forward to taking Labour’s arguments out on the campaign trail. Witney is a great place to live and I am proud to live and to have brought my three children up here. But we need to make sure it continues to thrive for everyone."
Duncan Enright has been selected as Labour’s candidate in the Witney by-election taking place on 20 October. Duncan, a West Oxfordshire Councillor since 2012, also stood against the then Prime...
Hundreds more local police officers in Sussex are set to be axed, Labour will say today as it launches a campaign to keep bobbies on the beat and protect communities.
Later today, Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham will force a Commons vote aimed at halting Government plans to cut Police budgets by up to 25 per cent over the next five years. Labour believes any cuts in double figures will have damaging consequences for policing and public safety.
A national petition sponsored by the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, crossbench peer Lord John Stevens, aims to build cross-party and cross-community support for the campaign. The country’s former most senior police officer calls on ministers to ‘drop plans for drastic cuts’, ‘listen to the public and police officers’ and also warns of the ‘end of neighbourhood policing.’
Labour’s campaign aims to get people to sign the petition before George Osborne stands up to give his Spending Review later this month.
The Sussex force lost 403 police officers and 52 Police Community Support Officers (PSCOs) between 2010 and 2015. Labour believes that while efficiency savings below 10 per cent can be achieved, a Police budget cut in double figures puts the public at risk. New figures show that a cut of 25 per cent, which the Government talked about, could result in a further reduction of 400 officers in Sussex.
In the Sussex violent crime has already risen by forty percent while the force is having to deal with new threats like cybercrime and online fraud.
Peter Kyle MP said:
“If Ministers cut the Police on the scale proposed, they will be putting public safety at risk and will go down as the Government that took thousands of bobbies off the beat.
“I want as many people as possible in our area to sign this petition to protect the local police force and I’m calling on MPs from all parties to join this campaign too. The consequences of Tory cuts are already being felt – we cannot afford to lose even more officers.
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said:
“If people had known the Tories planned to end neighbourhood policing as we have known it and to take bobbies off the beat, they wouldn’t have voted for it. With crime starting to rise, now is not the time to cut the police.”
On his petition, Lord John Stevens, says:
“We call on the Government to listen to the public and police officers, drop plans for drastic cuts and protect visible, locally-responsive neighbourhood policing.
“In the last five years, police forces across England and Wales have lost 12,000 front-line officers. Government plans to cut the Police by between 25 per cent and 40 per cent over the next five years could lead to the loss of over 20,000 more. Indeed, any budget cuts in double figures would spell the end of neighbourhood policing and put the public at risk.”
Hundreds more local police officers in Sussex are set to be axed, Labour will say today as it launches a campaign to keep bobbies on the beat and protect communities....
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