Rochdale Borough Council one of 'hardest hit' by spending cuts in North West

Date published: 03 December 2019

Rochdale Borough Council has had one of the biggest spending drops on vital services in the North West since 2010/11, according to new research from the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

In the North West, Rossendale District Council has experienced the biggest drop in total council spending, with a 57% decrease, followed by Copeland District Council and Halton Unitary Authority (both 51%). In comparison, Rochdale is spending 27% less than in 2010/11.

Rochdale Council’s total expenditure is one of the 20 worst-hit upper tier local authorities in the country and seven of those 20 are authorities in the North West.

In 2010/11, councils in the North West were spending a total of £6.8bn per year on key services such as social care, waste management, libraries and transport.

But in 2018/2019 that spending had fallen by 21% (1.4bn) to £5.4bn per year.

This works out as 23% (£180) less being spent on services per person in the region.

In Rochdale, this is equivalent to a real term change in spending of £55.3m, and a 28% drop in funding per person, a reduction of £283 per person from 2010/11 to 2018/19.

According to the analysis by the TUC, only the North East has seen a bigger drop in council spending since 2010/11 than the North West.

As a whole, councils in England are spending £7.8 billion a year – £150 million a week – less on key services than they were in 2010.

Central government grant funding to local authorities has been cut significantly since 2010.

The Local Government Association estimates that councils will have lost 60p out of every £1 the government had provided to spend on local services in the last eight years alone.

By targeting cuts on central government grants, ministers have disproportionately impacted councils in more deprived areas of Britain, says the TUC.

Local councils today are increasingly more reliant on raising income through council tax, their share of business rates and other charges and fees.

But this is much harder for councils in more deprived areas of the country as they are less able to raise significant funding this way.

Rochdale Borough Council has been contacted for comment.

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