North of England continues to see bigger cuts in public spending, report finds | Society | The Guardian


Government spending in the north of England has fallen by £6.3bn while                 according to an analysis of official figures.

Andy Burnham, Labour mayor of Greater Manchester, called on ministers to place northern England at “the front of the queue for public investment” after the north-south divide was highlighted in a report on Wednesday.

The study, by the thinktank IPPR North, found that the north of England continued to see bigger cuts in public spending than any other region.

 

Source: North of England continues to see bigger cuts in public spending, report finds | Society | The Guardian

Even Tory councils are now calling on ministers to ease the pain of cuts | Patrick Butler | Society | The Guardian


The anguish of austerity cuts may have come late to the leafier Conservative-run councils of England but there is no doubt it has arrived. Reflecting on the eye-watering spending cuts stricken county halls must push through this year and next, the Kent county council leader Paul Carter declared to a Tory conference fringe meeting last week that “no Conservative came into local government to do this”. The room, packed with councillors, exploded into applause, accompanied by booming cries of “hear, hear”.

The meeting pulsed with anger, bewilderment, despair, possibly even regret that the austerity chickens have come home to roost in Tory England. Most councillors there would have accepted town hall belt-tightening eight years ago as a necessary obligation at a time of national economic crisis. Few, I suspect, assumed then that their civic duty almost a decade later would be to shut cherished services and strap local government on to the life-support ventilator.

Source: Even Tory councils are now calling on ministers to ease the pain of cuts | Patrick Butler | Society | The Guardian

Don’t blame councils for the harm done by government ideology | Joanne Fry | Society | The Guardian


Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty has vividly described “pulverism” – the idea that councils should use financial crises not merely to make savings but to smash up and reshape the public sector – and claims it has gone nationwide.

No it hasn’t, at least not in my experience of working in all kinds of councils around the country over the past decade.

Most councils, far from being ideological about smashing up the public sector, have been trying their best to mitigate the impact of the ideology and policies of austerity that successive governments have put in place since the coalition introduced the first round of cuts in 2010.

 

Source: Don’t blame councils for the harm done by government ideology | Joanne Fry | Society | The Guardian

Now disabled people face a kind of internment. Just ask Edith | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian


In 24 hours’ time, Edith will no longer be able to get out of bed. The 30-year-old has multiple sclerosis, and relies on council-funded care assistants to help her live in her two-bed adapted flat in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

For 18 months, she has managed with only a couple of visits a day: one at 7am, to enable her to get up for work as a chartered accountant, and another at 8.30pm to help her get out of her wheelchair and back into bed. After years of saving hard for her first home and moving out of her parents’, it was meant to be the start of Edith’s life. But in February her care agency struck a blow: owing to staff shortages in her area, they would be ceasing their contract, and giving social services 90 days’ notice. Three months later, with barely a day until her carers leave, the council hasn’t found her a replacement.

Edith is terrified. “Carers helping me out of bed every morning are the fundamental life support which everything else in my life depends on,” she says. “And now it feels like the rug is being pulled out from beneath me.”

 

Source: Now disabled people face a kind of internment. Just ask Edith | Frances Ryan | Opinion | The Guardian

Lives torn apart and assets lost: this is what a Labour privatisation would mean | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian


The battle under way in the capital should trouble us all. Proponents call it innovation, but I say it’s an assault on the poor

Source: Lives torn apart and assets lost: this is what a Labour privatisation would mean | Aditya Chakrabortty | Opinion | The Guardian

Austerity and then chicanery: how the Tories target cash strapped councils | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian


Ministers claim the worst cuts are being offset. In fact, the true beneficiaries are Conservative shires

Source: Austerity and then chicanery: how the Tories target cash strapped councils | John Harris | Opinion | The Guardian