COLUMN: Cuts are getting deeper
Local authorities around the country are struggling to provide services as their funds are cut by the Conservative government.
In recent years local authorities have found ways of generating more income, cutting costs and becoming more efficient.
Most district councils will be raising council tax by less than 2 per cent this year.
A similar increase here would mean an increase of around £2.45 a year for band A household in Mansfield and district, and would raise just over £100,000 a year, which could protect some of our important services.
However, still the cuts continue to come, and at some point these will inevitably start to impact on the services we all take for granted.
In Mansfield and district, we have lost almost five million pounds a year of government funding between 2010 and 2016, and the cuts are going to get deeper.
Your district council maintains parks, collects dustbins and recycling, runs council housing, delivers the ASSIST service for older and disabled residents, runs a homelessness service, the neighbourhood wardens, clears litter, removes fly tipping and provides leisure centres, as well as many other services, and all of these cost money.
In my ward and many others, replacement roofs and doors on council properties are long awaited by residents.
We could undoubtedly do more to solve the homelessness problem in the town with more funds.
This week, councillors will face difficult decisions at the annual budget setting meeting, further savings will need to be found this year, and my worry is that these will soon impact on the services we all rely on and need.
Warsop councillors are particularly concerned, as in addition to the above cuts, they are set to lose another £16,000 a year from their parish council’s budget, at a time when residents are already facing the proposed withdrawal of council funding from Meden Baths.
They have asked me to thank the almost 2,500 people who have signed the petition to keep Meden Baths and to convey that the Labour group is doing everything it can to convince the coalition how important the swimming baths and leisure centre are to the health and wellbeing of local residents.
I would also like to remind people that the consultation on the impact of the closure of this provision ends on January 31.
It is available online at www.mansfield.gov.uk/meden or from Warsop Library, Warsop Town Hall and Meden Sports Centre.