Council Leader Writes to PM Over Budget Cuts
Tuesday 24th November 2015 @ 12:49 by Tom Greggan

Tameside Council’s executive leader, Cllr Kieran Quinn has set out the financial challenges facing the authority in a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister, David Cameron.

Last week it emerged that Mr Cameron, who is MP for Witney, had written to the leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Cllr Ian Hudspeth, complaining about significant cuts to frontline services such as libraries and day centres for the elderly.

This led to a reply from Cllr Hudspeth – a member of Mr Cameron’s party – stating that the Prime Minister did not understand the pressures under which local government is forced to operate in the age of austerity.

In his own letter to 10 Downing Street, Cllr Quinn has stressed the severity of the cuts that have been imposed on Tameside Council since 2010, and challenged the suggestion that these can be confined to back-office functions, leaving frontline services untouched.

He writes: “As the leader of Tameside Council, a local authority that has lost £104 million of our controllable spend since 2010, and is expecting to have to remove a further £94 million by 2020 – essentially cutting our budget in half – it is a relief to know that you are genuinely concerned about the impact that the cuts imposed by the current and previous government are having on communities across the nation.”

Cllr Quinn also asks that the Prime Minister’s offer of access to the No 10 policy unit for help in devising creative solutions to funding problems be extended to all authorities struggling under the yoke of austerity.

The Tameside Council leader said: “Mr Cameron’s letter to Oxfordshire County Council suggests he is totally unaware of the effects his government’s cuts are having, even in his own constituency.

“I await his reply with great interest.”