The Labour group on Leeds City Council has launched a campaign against the Tory Government’s deeply unfair cut to health spending this year. This is part of an ongoing battle against the Tories’ assault on local services and infrastructure.
Regular readers of this blog will not need reminding of the scale of the previous Coalition’s cuts to Leeds budget. The Lib Dem and Tory coalition government slashed nearly £45 million from the council’s spending for this financial year. This, remember, at a time when they increased the money they gave to places like Richmond-on-Thames and Tewkesbury.
Following the election the Tories were quick off the mark. They got straight back to work and in July’s ‘Emergency Budget’ they slashed £200 million from health services provided by local councils.
Leeds is likely to take about £2.8million of those cuts. If these are implemented by the Government that will mean that Infant Best Start, cancer prevention, infection control and school nurse services will all be reduced.
This is just the latest example of the Tory axe falling on Leeds in the few months since the general election.
• They have cancelled the Trans-Pennine electrification scheme.
• Cuts are also being made to funding to tackle Youth Offending Team.
• It is more than likely that the Police will be hit hard;
• and we are expecting that in the autumn’s Comprehensive Spending Review George Osborne will reduce Government spending on Leeds Council services by another £100 million over the next 4 years.
But the Labour Group on Leeds Council do not intend to take this attack on our city and its services lying down.
At the Council meeting this week, the group will put forward a White paper. The text is below.
This is a Government hell bent on rolling back the state – and the people of Leeds are among its victims.
The Labour Group will be fighting all the way – to protect the weak and vulnerable – and all the people of Leeds – from the Tories’ ideology-driven savagery.
“This Council is appalled that the Conservative’s General Election 2015 manifesto promise to “support people to stay healthy” has been so quickly disregarded through the announcement of in-year cuts of £200 million of Health funding that is being clawed back from local authorities.
Council notes this betrayal is part of a fast growing list of broken promises from this Government that directly affects the lives and wellbeing of the people of Leeds. This includes not progressing with the promised electrification of the Transpennine rail route or the promise to cap care costs and the in-year cut to Youth Offending spending.
Council calls on the Government to rethink its approach to funding cuts in preparing its Comprehensive Spending Review, in line with Conservative party promises made to Leeds residents only a matter of months ago.
Council believes the damage that will be done by Government decisions announced to date cannot be overestimated and will work with partners in the city on the effects of the cuts.
Council calls on officers to make representations to ministers on behalf of the people of Leeds to ensure the Government recognises the needs of the city and the impact their approach to funding can have, especially in relation to the protection of vulnerable people.”