Cuts to local government funding, which are hitting Salford and the most deprived areas of the UK the hardest, are the focus of Labour’s local elections campaign.
But Salford’s Labour City Mayor Paul Dennett says the city is doing its best to save the city from the worst effects of austerity.
Figures compiled by the Labour party show that local authorities’ spending power per household will fall by an average of 23 per cent in 2019-20 compared with 2009-10 – a drop of £254. Nine of the 10 most deprived councils in the country have seen cuts of almost three times this national average.
Salford is the 22nd most deprived local authority in England out of 326.
Labour Mayor Dennett, at the launch of the council’s Budget earlier this year, said:
“Our City Council is not simply sitting back and watching as Tory under-funding drives us into decline – we are building and investing for the future of our city and its people.”
• We have listened to the public through our ‘Talk Budget’ engagement about the things that matter most to them.
• We have sought to protect vital services for our most vulnerable residents – reflecting our overriding commitment to a better and fairer Salford.
• We have undertaken a detailed review of all service budgets across the council – this has involved members, directors, our employees, trade unions and key partners.
• We have reviewed central provisions and the council’s financial reserves – and how these could be used to support the protection of vital services.
• We have sought wherever possible to maximise the opportunities from new transformational savings, efficiencies, new partnerships, and additional income.
He said: “This is a city I am immensely proud to call home – and I believe all members share that pride. It’s a city with a proud identity, an incredible history and tight-knit community. A city which despite the obstacles, is still on the path to growth and succeed.
“The decisions this council has taken over the past few decades to invest in the regeneration of the city are beginning to pay their dividends.
“Business rates have increased by £2.7 million annually in the past 2 years, council tax by £13.5million. We have collected £16 million in section 106 contributions since 2014 and £48 million New Homes Bonus between 2014/15 and 2019/20.
“This money is a lifeline, without it our services would be hit even harder by the cuts.
“Ambitious investment in Greengate and New Bailey is building the council’s asset-base, bringing in an anticipated £7.5 million profit over the next 25 years plus generating jobs and business rates building the economy of Salford.”
Locally Salford Labour Party campaigns include the return of the 100 bus to Peel Green.
Local elections are taking place on Thursday May 2 for one councillor in 19 of the Salford wards. The election in Walkden South has been postponed following the death of Conservative candidate George Darlington. For a full list of candidates see the Salford Council website.