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County Budget crisis shows desperate need for government to finally provide fair funding for Leicestershire

January 15, 2021 2:27 PM
Councillor Michael Mullaney

Councillor Michael Mullaney

A budget consultation run by Leicestershire County Council has set out how the authority tries to close a possible £92million shortfall in funding up to 2025. Meeting the funding gap could mean largescale service cuts, job losses and Council Tax rises for people in Leicestershire, unless the County receives extra support from the government. Opposition Liberal Democrat Councillors have called on the government to fairly fund Leicestershire County Council and keep a commitment to meet the Council's costs caused by Covid-19 and not expect residents to meet the costs through big Council Tax rises.

Responding to the financial situation of the County Council Leicestershire Liberal Democrat Finance spokesman Councillor Michael Mullaney said "Leicestershire receives the worst funding of any County in the country from the government. This means residents being hit by a combination of service cuts and Council Tax rises. This is totally unfair on people in Leicestershire. Our area deserves fair funding and people in our County should not be put to the back of the queue by the government like this. People locally repeatedly elect all Tory MPs and a Tory County Council, now its time for the Tory government to deliver fairness for our area rather than just taking Leicestershire and its voters for granted.

"The government talks about providing more funding for Leicestershire over the next year, but the vast bulk of that money would come from the County Council increasing Council Tax on residents in Leicestershire. What Leicestershire people deserve is for the government to fairly increase its funding of our county services, not impose big Council Tax rises on hard-pressed Leicestershire residents already struggling financially through no fault of their own because of the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic".

"In addition the costs of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic are putting increasing pressure on the County Council budget. At the start of the Pandemic the government said they would meet local governments costs for dealing with Covid. Yet the reality is the government is only prepared to meet a fraction of the Covid-19 related costs for Leicestershire. This means more pressure on County Council budgets and more bad news for local residents.

"It's time the Tory government finally delivered fairness for Leicestershire, not to keep expecting residents to pay soaring Council Tax for fewer services."