Wakefield Council leader Peter Box: “We will have no other choice than to cut frontline services”

Peter Box.
Peter Box.

Some public services could disappear because of government spending cuts announced yesterday, the leader of Wakefield Council has warned.

Coun Peter Box said frontline services would be cut after the government announced its funding for local authorities in 2015–16.

Councils face on overall reduction in spending of 1.8 per cent that year.

Wakefield Council has already saved £81m over the last four years and is facing budget cuts of £38m next year.

Coun Box said: “Our cut in funding from government has been more than 40 per cent since 2011–12.

“While we are still examining the detail of the government’s settlement and its impact on our budget for the coming year, I can say categorically that more cuts are bad news for the people of this district.

“We are doing our best in very testing times to provide the services which people depend on, but our ability to do this is now seriously undermined by the relentless year-on-year cuts being inflicted on us by this government.”

Announcing the funding settlement, local government minister Kris Hopkins said “very substantial savings” had to be made in public spending.

He said: “In the context of this unprecedented challenge to public finance, we have yet again delivered a settlement that is fair to all parts of the country, whether north, south, urban or rural.

“Once again the settlement leaves councils with considerable total spending power.”

But Coun Box said the budget settlement meant fewer services could be provided by Wakefield Council.

He added: “Today’s settlement shows the government is intent on making local government bear the burden of its spending cuts.

“We will have no choice other than to cut frontline services.”