GUEST COLUMN: Funding cuts are unfair for Nottinghamshire, by Ashfield MP, Gloria De Piero

MP Gloria De Piero
MP Gloria De Piero

We have all seen the headlines about local councils having to make huge budget cuts and valuable services being put at risk.

The truth is that the local government financial crisis has been created because of unfair funding from the Conservative Government. Areas like Nottinghamshire have repeatedly been hit harder than more affluent counties in the south.

Funding for councils has been cut and cut again since 2010. Nottinghamshire County Council has made savings and efficiencies of £121m in this time, and is now having to reduce its spending by another £71m in the next financial year.

Services we expect from the county council will be affected, while council tax bills are set to go up to pay help pay for the care of our loved ones in old age.

I have written to the department for communities and local Government demanding that the Government looks again at how it funds councils like Nottinghamshire. It is vital it does so if local people are to have access to the services they should expect.

The latest unemployment figures show that in December, 1,142 people in Ashfield were unemployed and claiming benefits.

This includes 968 people claiming jobseeker’s allowance and 174 people claiming universal credit but not in employment.

This figure is 239 lower than in December 2014, but five higher than in November 2015. Around 265 of these are aged 18-24, which is 100 lower than in December 2014.

It is always good to see local people finding work but the situation is not all rosy. Some of my constituents are among the hundreds who have been made redundant by Leaderflush Shapland in Langley Mill, while dozens working at Autofil in Annesley are losing their jobs.

We need to see more jobs being created in Ashfield, to ensure that people living here can find work here.