Poorer councils ‘hardest hit by cuts’

COUNCILS in the most deprived areas have been hit hardest by cuts in Government funding, according to a new report published by a respected research group.

New research suggests councils in more deprived areas have suffered bigger funding cuts

Analysis published by the York-based Joseph Rowntree Foundation (RF) shows the poorest English councils have lost £182 per head more than the most affluent.

Housing and planning are the services which have taken the brunt of the cuts, according to the research.

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Social care has been relatively protected but while spending has risen by £28 per head in affluent areas, deprived councils have cut spending by £65 per head.

The Government has repeatedly insisted cuts have not had a disproportionate impact on poorer, predominantly northern, authorities.

The JRF report warns that councils’ ability to find efficiency savings is “fast running out” and calls on the Government to slow the pace of cuts to allow authorities to put long term plans in place. It also recommends giving councils multi-year funding settlements to make it easier for town halls to plan ahead.

JRF policy and research manager Josh Stott said: “There is a general consensus that we are only half way through the cuts and, if we continue on this course, it seems inevitable that the poorest people and places will be even harder hit.”