UK

Council Cuts Are '10 Times Worse' In Poor Areas, Labour Says

30/01/2014 12:11 GMT | Updated 30/01/2014 12:59 GMT
John Giles/PA Archive
Terraced streets in the Hyde Park area of Leeds.

England's poorest areas have had their council budgets cut by far more than rich parts, Labour is claiming.

The opposition has produced research showing the most deprived council areas were facing cuts 10 times greater than the least hard hit.

Labour says its research, which combines the Government's own figures for "multiple deprivation" with analysis from Newcastle County Council on what English councils have to spend on services, shows a "clear link between cuts in spending power and deprivation".

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Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes, told the Guardian: "These figures demonstrate the political motivation behind the government's cuts, targeting mainly Labour-held councils for much deeper cuts than our Conservative colleagues."

Labour says the 10 most deprived areas, which include Liverpool, Hackney and Newham in east London, and Manchester, have an average spending reduction of 25.3%, the BBC said.

This compares with average cuts of 2.54% in the 10 least deprived areas, which include St Albans in Hertfordshire, Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire and Elmbridge and Waverley in Surrey.

Shadow communities minister Hilary Benn told the BBC the figures were "shocking", saying: "They show the impact of David Cameron and Eric Pickles's unfair policies."

But the Government says the most deprived areas have £1,000 more per household to spend than the least deprived.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis said: "The coalition government has delivered a fair settlement to every part of the country, north and south, rural and urban, metropolitan and shire.

"Councils facing the highest demand for services continue to receive substantially more funding... This shows that the government understands the pressures faced by deprived authorities."

Deprivation is measured using analysis of a variety of factors, including income, employment, crime, education and barriers to housing and services.