Thousands face council cuts

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Indy Politics
(First Edition)

LOCAL government leaders told ministers yesterday that they faced unprecedented cuts in services and would need to make thousands of staff redundant because of government cuts, writes Ngaio Crequer.

They pressed ministers to allow a change in the capping rules to allow authorities some flexibility in the face of budget deficits involving millions of pounds.

Leaders of local government bodies told Michael Howard, Secretary of State for the Environment, and John Redwood, the local government minister, that they would be about pounds 3bn short if they were to meet existing commitments plus take on new responsibilities in April, such as funding Care in the Community.

Jermey Beecham, chairman of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities, said that in a survey of only 50 local authorities more than 18,000 job cuts had been identified so far, and there were 'bound to be far more'.