North East councils worse hit than south, councillors claim

NORTH-EAST taxpayers are being unfairly punished by Government cuts while helping to subsidise southern authorities, a leading councillor has claimed.

Members of Durham County Council’s cabinet have launched a scathing attack on the cuts which will see the authority having to save almost £21m in 2013/14 and a total of £200m expected to have been lost between the coalition taking power in 2010 and 2017.

At the cabinet’s meeting in Crook Civic Centre, member for resources Alan Napier said the cuts are “wholly unfair” on the North-East.

Between 2013 and 2015 Durham County Council’s spending power is expected to be reduced by six per cent compared to a national average of 5.5 per cent, while the average for the 12 major North-East councils is 6.4 per cent.

Coun Napier said the North-East is not only being hit harder than the south but the region’s councils are also having their money sent to ailing authorities around London and the Home Counties.

Durham County Council gives £9.3m every year to the National Damping scheme which sees the invested money redistributed to struggling authorities.

Coun Napier said it is expected that the council will have to give that amount every year until 2020 meaning the council will have lost £65m since the scheme started.

Meanwhile Surrey County Council will receive £60m from the arrangement while, their spending power reduction is only 1.5 per cent.

Coun Napier said: “All of this is having a detrimental impact where we are the loser every time and the gain has been in more affluent areas.”

Durham County council leader Simon Henig said he had to accept cuts but accused the Government of using the reductions as a cover for redistributing money from northern counties to those in the south.

He said: “We would expect the reductions to be done fairly, the Government needs to change its approach.”

The council is still waiting for more information on several grants before final budgets for 2013/14 can be established next month.

More Hambleton District Council News

Comments (25)

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3:00pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Voice-of-reality says...

This is a re-balancing exercise - throughout the Blair years money was siphoned towards the North, the sea-saw of funding is now being readjusted. Further, given regional variations in tax receipts it is quite clear that we in the north ultimately benefit far more from the south than v.v.
This is a re-balancing exercise - throughout the Blair years money was siphoned towards the North, the sea-saw of funding is now being readjusted. Further, given regional variations in tax receipts it is quite clear that we in the north ultimately benefit far more from the south than v.v. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Wed 16 Jan 13

BLOBBY35 says...

the councils still waste a lot of money, north yorkshire school transport have been for years and now have said they are changing my childrens special school transport as with the cuts !! when you look at it it makes sense but why blame it on the cuts when this should have been years ago to save money i bet there is someone sitting at county hall that should be at the job centre for not doing there job properly but is hiding behind the CUTS !!
the councils still waste a lot of money, north yorkshire school transport have been for years and now have said they are changing my childrens special school transport as with the cuts !! when you look at it it makes sense but why blame it on the cuts when this should have been years ago to save money i bet there is someone sitting at county hall that should be at the job centre for not doing there job properly but is hiding behind the CUTS !! BLOBBY35
  • Score: 0

5:06pm Wed 16 Jan 13

theWorkerScum says...

DCC make cuts, the council that lives by its own rules surely not, we will spend everything we have then blame someone else. I'm getting tired of Labour aren't you?
DCC make cuts, the council that lives by its own rules surely not, we will spend everything we have then blame someone else. I'm getting tired of Labour aren't you? theWorkerScum
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Homshaw1 says...

theWorkerScum wrote:
DCC make cuts, the council that lives by its own rules surely not, we will spend everything we have then blame someone else. I'm getting tired of Labour aren't you?
I'm getting tried of politicans whatever their persuasion.

There are a bunch of self serving morons and I truly would not know who to vote for
[quote][p][bold]theWorkerScum[/bold] wrote: DCC make cuts, the council that lives by its own rules surely not, we will spend everything we have then blame someone else. I'm getting tired of Labour aren't you?[/p][/quote]I'm getting tried of politicans whatever their persuasion. There are a bunch of self serving morons and I truly would not know who to vote for Homshaw1
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Wed 16 Jan 13

fracker says...

If we benefit more in the north why are they cutting more from northern councils than in the south? i'm getting really tired of people claiming it is mere inefficiency from northern councils,they are getting bigger cuts in funding out of revenge for not returning tory officials,.
If we benefit more in the north why are they cutting more from northern councils than in the south? i'm getting really tired of people claiming it is mere inefficiency from northern councils,they are getting bigger cuts in funding out of revenge for not returning tory officials,. fracker
  • Score: 0

7:49pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Herorich says...

In fairness the north pays far less tax therefore we actually get a very good deal compared to the South. Wages and costs are lower in the north so they are not really comparing apples with apples. Why don't the councils look at their excessive pay and cut the made up, completely unnecessary jobs eg Liason officers (whatever they are?) and start operating in a lean cost aware fashion. I worked in the public sector for a while and the mentality was that money grows on trees. The only alternative is higher tax and I for one say no thanks.
In fairness the north pays far less tax therefore we actually get a very good deal compared to the South. Wages and costs are lower in the north so they are not really comparing apples with apples. Why don't the councils look at their excessive pay and cut the made up, completely unnecessary jobs eg Liason officers (whatever they are?) and start operating in a lean cost aware fashion. I worked in the public sector for a while and the mentality was that money grows on trees. The only alternative is higher tax and I for one say no thanks. Herorich
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Wed 16 Jan 13

pilchrat says...

I'm fed up of people saying there's still slack and inefficiency in the system. Councils are, and have been, the most efficient bit of government for years. Yeah, 10 years ago, maybe not, but in the past five or so years, efficiency and cuts is all there's been. There's now nothing left to cut in the back office (or should I say the bit of the council everyone loves to assume is full of wasteful thickos out for a free lunch).

Instead of banging on about cutting councils funds, the government should rifle a bit more through, say, the NHS. I'm not talking doctors and nurses, but the back office there is RIFE with wastage. Stories I hear from ex-NHS staff suggest there's loads to be saved. Unfortunately, it's a political sore point and nobody dare do to the NHS what they're doing to Councils.

Also I don't see why schools are sacred from the cuts either. Sure, don't cut teaching staff, but all these academies mean schools are each employing their own equivalents of people who would have done something central at County Hall HQ. You look at schools websites now at the lists of staff employed and there are "business managers" and "office managers" and all sorts of bizarre jobs ... when I was at school there was a head, 2 deputies, and a load of teaching staff. Not sure where these extra non jobs have come in.

End rant. Suffice it to say there's more inefficient parts of government than councils. Cutting their budgets any further now is just going to lead to front line services going down the pan.
I'm fed up of people saying there's still slack and inefficiency in the system. Councils are, and have been, the most efficient bit of government for years. Yeah, 10 years ago, maybe not, but in the past five or so years, efficiency and cuts is all there's been. There's now nothing left to cut in the back office (or should I say the bit of the council everyone loves to assume is full of wasteful thickos out for a free lunch). Instead of banging on about cutting councils funds, the government should rifle a bit more through, say, the NHS. I'm not talking doctors and nurses, but the back office there is RIFE with wastage. Stories I hear from ex-NHS staff suggest there's loads to be saved. Unfortunately, it's a political sore point and nobody dare do to the NHS what they're doing to Councils. Also I don't see why schools are sacred from the cuts either. Sure, don't cut teaching staff, but all these academies mean schools are each employing their own equivalents of people who would have done something central at County Hall HQ. You look at schools websites now at the lists of staff employed and there are "business managers" and "office managers" and all sorts of bizarre jobs ... when I was at school there was a head, 2 deputies, and a load of teaching staff. Not sure where these extra non jobs have come in. End rant. Suffice it to say there's more inefficient parts of government than councils. Cutting their budgets any further now is just going to lead to front line services going down the pan. pilchrat
  • Score: 0

9:01pm Wed 16 Jan 13

spragger says...

These people keep hiding behind a smokescreen of lies and inactivity.
There is loads to go at in terms of waste.
Get on with it instead of the continual whinging
These people keep hiding behind a smokescreen of lies and inactivity. There is loads to go at in terms of waste. Get on with it instead of the continual whinging spragger
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Voice-of-reality says...

The legislated responsibilities of local authorities are clearly stated in the LGA 1972 (and as updated thereafter). Anything not within the spec as laid out in that Act is not mandatory - time for the councils to provide only that which they are legislated so to do. Further, the point on the north benefiting more - tax revenue - a simple point - thank you for supporting the point Herorich
The legislated responsibilities of local authorities are clearly stated in the LGA 1972 (and as updated thereafter). Anything not within the spec as laid out in that Act is not mandatory - time for the councils to provide only that which they are legislated so to do. Further, the point on the north benefiting more - tax revenue - a simple point - thank you for supporting the point Herorich Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

9:38am Thu 17 Jan 13

neilt63 says...

DCC, £339,562 on mobile and Ipad bills this month, says it all really!
DCC, £339,562 on mobile and Ipad bills this month, says it all really! neilt63
  • Score: 0

11:00am Thu 17 Jan 13

Homshaw1 says...

fracker wrote:
If we benefit more in the north why are they cutting more from northern councils than in the south? i'm getting really tired of people claiming it is mere inefficiency from northern councils,they are getting bigger cuts in funding out of revenge for not returning tory officials,.
I don't know if northern councils are more or less efficient than southern ones but they are certainly inefficient and there are hugh amounts of money to be saved

I constantly see council workers doing anything but working. They always seem to work in pairs when there seems no need to do so. They seem to aim at the minimum level of work they can get away with. Make a complaint about the level of service and it takes for every to get a reply and when it arrives it rarely offers any measures that achieve any hope of improvement

Something needs doing to improve the situation. The ratepayer is being taken for a ride. They are more like the mafia taking money whether you like it or not for doing as little as possible rather than a public body acting in the best interests of the public
[quote][p][bold]fracker[/bold] wrote: If we benefit more in the north why are they cutting more from northern councils than in the south? i'm getting really tired of people claiming it is mere inefficiency from northern councils,they are getting bigger cuts in funding out of revenge for not returning tory officials,.[/p][/quote]I don't know if northern councils are more or less efficient than southern ones but they are certainly inefficient and there are hugh amounts of money to be saved I constantly see council workers doing anything but working. They always seem to work in pairs when there seems no need to do so. They seem to aim at the minimum level of work they can get away with. Make a complaint about the level of service and it takes for every to get a reply and when it arrives it rarely offers any measures that achieve any hope of improvement Something needs doing to improve the situation. The ratepayer is being taken for a ride. They are more like the mafia taking money whether you like it or not for doing as little as possible rather than a public body acting in the best interests of the public Homshaw1
  • Score: 0

1:34pm Thu 17 Jan 13

pilchrat says...

Yawn, same tired views. The nebulous anecdotal "I saw this onetime" and "Years ago once upon a time I worked in the public sector" and "Cut councillors wages for starters" claptrap.

Wastage and observation that can't be pinned down, and most of which has little basis in reality or is steeped in misinformation from years of council hating.

Go on, define what could be saved that isn't just "sack lazy workers" and "there's no private sector ethos"?

Cut councillors allowances. Ok. Say they did. To what? And if you cut it, it would still only be an absolute drop in the ocean to what the government is cutting from the budget anyway. It's like saying "I've lost my job. I know, we can survive if we just cut out the Sky subscription." Yes it'll help, but it won't solve the problem.

That's the issue here. Everyone perceives the odd lazy worker and the odd councillor expense as the answer to resolving a budget defecit of MILLIONS.

As for people working in pairs, that's often a health and safety consideration, something outside the council's control surely?

I kind of agree with the comment above about going back to statutory stuff only. The only problem is, things like leisure centres, libraries, are some of the bits people really want and don't want to see go.

I think, basically, it's a lot harder than the public make out.
Yawn, same tired views. The nebulous anecdotal "I saw this onetime" and "Years ago once upon a time I worked in the public sector" and "Cut councillors wages for starters" claptrap. Wastage and observation that can't be pinned down, and most of which has little basis in reality or is steeped in misinformation from years of council hating. Go on, define what could be saved that isn't just "sack lazy workers" and "there's no private sector ethos"? Cut councillors allowances. Ok. Say they did. To what? And if you cut it, it would still only be an absolute drop in the ocean to what the government is cutting from the budget anyway. It's like saying "I've lost my job. I know, we can survive if we just cut out the Sky subscription." Yes it'll help, but it won't solve the problem. That's the issue here. Everyone perceives the odd lazy worker and the odd councillor expense as the answer to resolving a budget defecit of MILLIONS. As for people working in pairs, that's often a health and safety consideration, something outside the council's control surely? I kind of agree with the comment above about going back to statutory stuff only. The only problem is, things like leisure centres, libraries, are some of the bits people really want and don't want to see go. I think, basically, it's a lot harder than the public make out. pilchrat
  • Score: 0

1:40pm Thu 17 Jan 13

jonty7 says...

Having Lived in Essex and Durham I can say this is a load of BS, DCC need to wise up and take a long hard look at itself, take the phone bill for starters how many years has that been going on?

I would rather see how much the council gets to spend per head of population in it's area (Bet DCC would back down very quickly)
Having Lived in Essex and Durham I can say this is a load of BS, DCC need to wise up and take a long hard look at itself, take the phone bill for starters how many years has that been going on? I would rather see how much the council gets to spend per head of population in it's area (Bet DCC would back down very quickly) jonty7
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Voice-of-reality says...

Libraries would be maintained under my comments - they were transferred - including those established as Carnegie Free Libraries to the care of the county in 1947 - if memory serves me correctly - but I could check. As for Leisure Centres the inability of DCC to keep them going is already well noted - but that does not stop them becoming charitable trusts operated at a town level. The real responsibilities of the council relate to sanitation and improvement (in its widest and old fashioned sense) - hence cemeteries, refuse, lighting and social services (transferred 1929). Beyond these issues the rest could/should be scaled down.
Libraries would be maintained under my comments - they were transferred - including those established as Carnegie Free Libraries to the care of the county in 1947 - if memory serves me correctly - but I could check. As for Leisure Centres the inability of DCC to keep them going is already well noted - but that does not stop them becoming charitable trusts operated at a town level. The real responsibilities of the council relate to sanitation and improvement (in its widest and old fashioned sense) - hence cemeteries, refuse, lighting and social services (transferred 1929). Beyond these issues the rest could/should be scaled down. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

5:35pm Thu 17 Jan 13

Homshaw1 says...

I recently asked for a small patch of ground to be tidied. It involved 13 people and took 3 months to get it cleaned up. Its already deteriorating

It's about time what services are capable of being outsourced were. An outside contractor who failed to make a profit would go under. If he failed to deliver a good service he would lose the contract

The council tax system guarantees payment regardless of the service and any cost overrun is passed on to the ratepayer.

The end result is the ratepayer gets a poor deal and other than casting a vote for someone else there is little he can do
I recently asked for a small patch of ground to be tidied. It involved 13 people and took 3 months to get it cleaned up. Its already deteriorating It's about time what services are capable of being outsourced were. An outside contractor who failed to make a profit would go under. If he failed to deliver a good service he would lose the contract The council tax system guarantees payment regardless of the service and any cost overrun is passed on to the ratepayer. The end result is the ratepayer gets a poor deal and other than casting a vote for someone else there is little he can do Homshaw1
  • Score: 0

7:20pm Thu 17 Jan 13

fracker says...

Homshaw it would have saved money if you t idied this "small" patch of land ,have you not heard of the "big society".Instead of siting back and waiting for the council to do things,at the same time demanding more savings from them.
Homshaw it would have saved money if you t idied this "small" patch of land ,have you not heard of the "big society".Instead of siting back and waiting for the council to do things,at the same time demanding more savings from them. fracker
  • Score: 0

8:11pm Thu 17 Jan 13

spragger says...

The time has come to revue whether monolithic public sector provision is the best way to deliver the few service we can afford & need
The time has come to revue whether monolithic public sector provision is the best way to deliver the few service we can afford & need spragger
  • Score: 0

9:38am Fri 18 Jan 13

BMD says...

I recently inquired why Darlington Borough Council was installing 100 meters of cycle path at a cost of £15,000, when an existing gravel track was available. I received a letter stating that the project had been approved.

Council efficiency!!!!!
I recently inquired why Darlington Borough Council was installing 100 meters of cycle path at a cost of £15,000, when an existing gravel track was available. I received a letter stating that the project had been approved. Council efficiency!!!!! BMD
  • Score: 0

11:08am Fri 18 Jan 13

mark.wilkinson says...

BMD wrote:
I recently inquired why Darlington Borough Council was installing 100 meters of cycle path at a cost of £15,000, when an existing gravel track was available. I received a letter stating that the project had been approved.

Council efficiency!!!!!
This is because they're untouchable, uncountable to anyone and will spend our money as they see fit.

How dare you question them!
[quote][p][bold]BMD[/bold] wrote: I recently inquired why Darlington Borough Council was installing 100 meters of cycle path at a cost of £15,000, when an existing gravel track was available. I received a letter stating that the project had been approved. Council efficiency!!!!![/p][/quote]This is because they're untouchable, uncountable to anyone and will spend our money as they see fit. How dare you question them! mark.wilkinson
  • Score: 0

1:03pm Fri 18 Jan 13

ajtib3 says...

spragger wrote:
The time has come to revue whether monolithic public sector provision is the best way to deliver the few service we can afford & need
Experience would suggest that the more you break these organisations up and privatise them the more it ends up costing us.
[quote][p][bold]spragger[/bold] wrote: The time has come to revue whether monolithic public sector provision is the best way to deliver the few service we can afford & need[/p][/quote]Experience would suggest that the more you break these organisations up and privatise them the more it ends up costing us. ajtib3
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Lifetime Townie says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
The legislated responsibilities of local authorities are clearly stated in the LGA 1972 (and as updated thereafter). Anything not within the spec as laid out in that Act is not mandatory - time for the councils to provide only that which they are legislated so to do. Further, the point on the north benefiting more - tax revenue - a simple point - thank you for supporting the point Herorich
If the council provided only the mandatory services then we wouldn't need any Councillors as the town hall would run itself without political interference. Then perhaps we would see more efficiency get a reduction in council tax!
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: The legislated responsibilities of local authorities are clearly stated in the LGA 1972 (and as updated thereafter). Anything not within the spec as laid out in that Act is not mandatory - time for the councils to provide only that which they are legislated so to do. Further, the point on the north benefiting more - tax revenue - a simple point - thank you for supporting the point Herorich[/p][/quote]If the council provided only the mandatory services then we wouldn't need any Councillors as the town hall would run itself without political interference. Then perhaps we would see more efficiency get a reduction in council tax! Lifetime Townie
  • Score: 0

9:30pm Fri 18 Jan 13

Voice-of-reality says...

Glad you agree
Glad you agree Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

11:02am Mon 21 Jan 13

the-big-yin says...

ride the gravy train...
that's why so many people want to be councilors...
there are savings to be made everywhere you look in all council departments, so why are they targeting front line services all the time?
i know it's because they are too concerned about having flower beds, roundabouts, market areas, and all other non essential areas looking nice!!!!
crook library hours have been cut along with most other libraries...
why do we pay our council tax ?...gods knows !!!!
do any councilors ever read these comments on this site? if they do and continue doing what they want they should be ashamed of themselves....
ride the gravy train... that's why so many people want to be councilors... there are savings to be made everywhere you look in all council departments, so why are they targeting front line services all the time? i know it's because they are too concerned about having flower beds, roundabouts, market areas, and all other non essential areas looking nice!!!! crook library hours have been cut along with most other libraries... why do we pay our council tax ?...gods knows !!!! do any councilors ever read these comments on this site? if they do and continue doing what they want they should be ashamed of themselves.... the-big-yin
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Wed 23 Jan 13

burgardsi says...

William. true that Bruce`s artlclee is super, yesterday I picked up themselves a Cadillac since I been bringin in $5363 this-past/five weeks and-also, 10-k this past month. this is really the most-financialy rewarding I've had. I started this four months/ago and pretty much straight away started bringing in over $70 p/h. I use the details on this website,, FAB33.COM
William. true that Bruce`s artlclee is super, yesterday I picked up themselves a Cadillac since I been bringin in $5363 this-past/five weeks and-also, 10-k this past month. this is really the most-financialy rewarding I've had. I started this four months/ago and pretty much straight away started bringing in over $70 p/h. I use the details on this website,, FAB33.COM burgardsi
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Sat 26 Jan 13

jsrace says...

http://markwilkes.my
councillor.org.uk/20
12/11/06/do-you-like
-paying-for-councill
ors-clothes/
http://markwilkes.my councillor.org.uk/20 12/11/06/do-you-like -paying-for-councill ors-clothes/ jsrace
  • Score: 0

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