North-East councils seeing biggest budget cuts in country

CHALLENGES AHEAD: County Hall in Durham,

CHALLENGES AHEAD: County Hall in Durham,

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Regional Chief Reporter

SPENDING by North-East councils is predicted to fall by five per cent this year - the biggest drop in the country, analysis shows.

The research of Government data was conducted by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) which said its report highlighted the need for urgent reform of local authority financing.

According to CIPFA, North-East council planning departments - 13 per cent drop - and housing - 12 per cent - are expected to see the biggest budget reductions in 2014/15.

Education, environment and cultural services are also predicted to face significant spending cuts.

CIPFA said some of the fall in education spending was likely to be due to schools converting to academies, removing their funding from local authority control.

Adult services were expected to see an average four per cent drop in funding, but children's services were predicted to see a 15 per cent rise.

The reduction in expenditure comes after the North-East was the only area to see an increase in local authority spending during 2013/14, CIPFA said.

The analysis showed that nationally local authorities' per capita spending in England will have fallen by 14 per cent in cash terms by 2014/15, when compared to 2009/10.

When adjusted for inflation this represents a drop of 29 per cent fall, which CIPFA described as a "significant reduction in the spending power of local authorities in England".

Rob Whiteman, CIPFA chief executive, said: “The continued sharp downward trajectory of local authority spending in both cash and real terms shows the significant financial challenge councils have faced over the past few years.

"Many authorities have managed this reduction well and continue to live within their means, but we are now starting to see some councils face real and immediate financial pressures."

Mr Whiteman said that to prevent the financial failure of vulnerable local authorities, it must be recognised that some councils had been hit harder than others.

He added: "It must also be recognised that there is a real and pressing need for fundamental reform of the financing of local government if we are to see it not just survive but succeed and thrive over the coming years.”

Comments (15)

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9:03pm Mon 4 Aug 14

behonest says...

So, Council Planning Departments are facing the biggest cuts? However, you can bet Darlington Labour Council's planning department will remain busy, spending our money to approve the continual expansion of traveller sites in Darlington.
So, Council Planning Departments are facing the biggest cuts? However, you can bet Darlington Labour Council's planning department will remain busy, spending our money to approve the continual expansion of traveller sites in Darlington. behonest
  • Score: 5

9:47pm Mon 4 Aug 14

loan_star says...

behonest wrote:
So, Council Planning Departments are facing the biggest cuts? However, you can bet Darlington Labour Council's planning department will remain busy, spending our money to approve the continual expansion of traveller sites in Darlington.
Dont say that too loudly, they'll close the thread again!
[quote][p][bold]behonest[/bold] wrote: So, Council Planning Departments are facing the biggest cuts? However, you can bet Darlington Labour Council's planning department will remain busy, spending our money to approve the continual expansion of traveller sites in Darlington.[/p][/quote]Dont say that too loudly, they'll close the thread again! loan_star
  • Score: 3

10:04pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Excellent news - after years of overspending and being overtly propped up by new Labour, its time for Labour councils to deliver the same quality services at the lower prices enjoyed by our southern counterparts. One notes how for over 20 years Tory controlled Westminster has had the lowest council tax in the UK - of course, this is not surprising, Tory councils cost less and deliver more whereas Labour promises the earth, spends everything, and delivers little - as the region saw during the year's of that 'man of the people' Blair. A man who, coincidentally, is worth far more than Cameron.
Excellent news - after years of overspending and being overtly propped up by new Labour, its time for Labour councils to deliver the same quality services at the lower prices enjoyed by our southern counterparts. One notes how for over 20 years Tory controlled Westminster has had the lowest council tax in the UK - of course, this is not surprising, Tory councils cost less and deliver more whereas Labour promises the earth, spends everything, and delivers little - as the region saw during the year's of that 'man of the people' Blair. A man who, coincidentally, is worth far more than Cameron. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 6

6:22am Tue 5 Aug 14

BMD says...

The Labour councils always manage to find enough money to increase the executive salary.

Value for money?

You’re having a LAFF
The Labour councils always manage to find enough money to increase the executive salary. Value for money? You’re having a LAFF BMD
  • Score: 1

6:34am Tue 5 Aug 14

Jonn says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
Excellent news - after years of overspending and being overtly propped up by new Labour, its time for Labour councils to deliver the same quality services at the lower prices enjoyed by our southern counterparts. One notes how for over 20 years Tory controlled Westminster has had the lowest council tax in the UK - of course, this is not surprising, Tory councils cost less and deliver more whereas Labour promises the earth, spends everything, and delivers little - as the region saw during the year's of that 'man of the people' Blair. A man who, coincidentally, is worth far more than Cameron.
Westminster, along with the City of London has the lowest Council Tax in the country but has by far the highest business rates.
Try and be a bit balanced in your statements.
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: Excellent news - after years of overspending and being overtly propped up by new Labour, its time for Labour councils to deliver the same quality services at the lower prices enjoyed by our southern counterparts. One notes how for over 20 years Tory controlled Westminster has had the lowest council tax in the UK - of course, this is not surprising, Tory councils cost less and deliver more whereas Labour promises the earth, spends everything, and delivers little - as the region saw during the year's of that 'man of the people' Blair. A man who, coincidentally, is worth far more than Cameron.[/p][/quote]Westminster, along with the City of London has the lowest Council Tax in the country but has by far the highest business rates. Try and be a bit balanced in your statements. Jonn
  • Score: 2

8:01am Tue 5 Aug 14

Graeme_r says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
Excellent news - after years of overspending and being overtly propped up by new Labour, its time for Labour councils to deliver the same quality services at the lower prices enjoyed by our southern counterparts. One notes how for over 20 years Tory controlled Westminster has had the lowest council tax in the UK - of course, this is not surprising, Tory councils cost less and deliver more whereas Labour promises the earth, spends everything, and delivers little - as the region saw during the year's of that 'man of the people' Blair. A man who, coincidentally, is worth far more than Cameron.
These councils in the south often have to spend far less on health and social care and have not suffered the same level of cuts as their northern counterparts, stop comparing apples with tomatoes.
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: Excellent news - after years of overspending and being overtly propped up by new Labour, its time for Labour councils to deliver the same quality services at the lower prices enjoyed by our southern counterparts. One notes how for over 20 years Tory controlled Westminster has had the lowest council tax in the UK - of course, this is not surprising, Tory councils cost less and deliver more whereas Labour promises the earth, spends everything, and delivers little - as the region saw during the year's of that 'man of the people' Blair. A man who, coincidentally, is worth far more than Cameron.[/p][/quote]These councils in the south often have to spend far less on health and social care and have not suffered the same level of cuts as their northern counterparts, stop comparing apples with tomatoes. Graeme_r
  • Score: -2

9:51am Tue 5 Aug 14

Voice-of-reality says...

The south suffered more cuts under Blair. Further, the south pays more tax.
This is therefore part of a re-balancing.
Of course, you are correct - they do have fewer 'social' costs - they have populations that work rather than sitting around wallowing in the past, and blaming everyone else for their problems.
The south suffered more cuts under Blair. Further, the south pays more tax. This is therefore part of a re-balancing. Of course, you are correct - they do have fewer 'social' costs - they have populations that work rather than sitting around wallowing in the past, and blaming everyone else for their problems. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 2

10:17am Tue 5 Aug 14

DURHAM CITY says...

It might learn the council to stop wasting money
It might learn the council to stop wasting money DURHAM CITY
  • Score: 0

11:48am Tue 5 Aug 14

stevegg says...

So if spendings on the continual downward spiral - why do they need the plethera of middle/upper managers and executives on huge salaries and pensions? The lowpaid frontline have suffered far more dispropotionately (at the expense of frontline services) than those sat behind desks trying to justify their existence and telling us all they are worth every penny and we cant do without them.! Long overdue that those at the top end took some of the pain!
So if spendings on the continual downward spiral - why do they need the plethera of middle/upper managers and executives on huge salaries and pensions? The lowpaid frontline have suffered far more dispropotionately (at the expense of frontline services) than those sat behind desks trying to justify their existence and telling us all they are worth every penny and we cant do without them.! Long overdue that those at the top end took some of the pain! stevegg
  • Score: 2

12:27pm Tue 5 Aug 14

David Lacey says...

Cracking stuff from VOR, Steve etc. But there is still a long way to go before we get back to sensible levels of local taxation and spending.
Cracking stuff from VOR, Steve etc. But there is still a long way to go before we get back to sensible levels of local taxation and spending. David Lacey
  • Score: 0

4:50pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Jonn says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
The south suffered more cuts under Blair. Further, the south pays more tax.
This is therefore part of a re-balancing.
Of course, you are correct - they do have fewer 'social' costs - they have populations that work rather than sitting around wallowing in the past, and blaming everyone else for their problems.
The South has a larger population and higher wages, thus more taxes are collected. You'll find it has been that way for 100's of years. Also, the very fact that the UK's financial heart, the Southern based City of London Corporation had to be subsidised with bailouts costing hundreds of billions and still continue to receive QE and benefit from fake interest rates means we are ALL paying heavily to keep the South in the lifestyle it is accustomed to.
Inferring that the population of the North do not work is a stupid comment.
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: The south suffered more cuts under Blair. Further, the south pays more tax. This is therefore part of a re-balancing. Of course, you are correct - they do have fewer 'social' costs - they have populations that work rather than sitting around wallowing in the past, and blaming everyone else for their problems.[/p][/quote]The South has a larger population and higher wages, thus more taxes are collected. You'll find it has been that way for 100's of years. Also, the very fact that the UK's financial heart, the Southern based City of London Corporation had to be subsidised with bailouts costing hundreds of billions and still continue to receive QE and benefit from fake interest rates means we are ALL paying heavily to keep the South in the lifestyle it is accustomed to. Inferring that the population of the North do not work is a stupid comment. Jonn
  • Score: -1

5:14pm Tue 5 Aug 14

David Lacey says...

I presume you meant "implying" - not "inferring".
I presume you meant "implying" - not "inferring". David Lacey
  • Score: -1

5:28pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Jonn says...

David Lacey wrote:
I presume you meant "implying" - not "inferring".
Thanks for pointing out my error.
Maybe you should remove your political blindfold and point out the errors in VOR's drivel too.
[quote][p][bold]David Lacey[/bold] wrote: I presume you meant "implying" - not "inferring".[/p][/quote]Thanks for pointing out my error. Maybe you should remove your political blindfold and point out the errors in VOR's drivel too. Jonn
  • Score: -1

6:33pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Jonn,
The industrial north (particularly places such as Liverpool) were richer than the counties around London until the early years of the 20th century. Your suggestion that the south (as a generic whole) has been richer for 100s of years (no possessive needed by the way), is wrong. Further, the City only became the absolutely dominant financial centre of the country in the 1930s - again, therefore, your comment is factually incorrect. You are correct (well done do try to build on this momentary success) that the larger financial city was bailed out. However, its net income and tax paid into the Treasury still far outweighs that of the north - and has done since the 1970s.
Jonn, The industrial north (particularly places such as Liverpool) were richer than the counties around London until the early years of the 20th century. Your suggestion that the south (as a generic whole) has been richer for 100s of years (no possessive needed by the way), is wrong. Further, the City only became the absolutely dominant financial centre of the country in the 1930s - again, therefore, your comment is factually incorrect. You are correct (well done do try to build on this momentary success) that the larger financial city was bailed out. However, its net income and tax paid into the Treasury still far outweighs that of the north - and has done since the 1970s. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

11:57am Wed 6 Aug 14

Jonn says...

Voice-of-reality wrote:
Jonn,
The industrial north (particularly places such as Liverpool) were richer than the counties around London until the early years of the 20th century. Your suggestion that the south (as a generic whole) has been richer for 100s of years (no possessive needed by the way), is wrong. Further, the City only became the absolutely dominant financial centre of the country in the 1930s - again, therefore, your comment is factually incorrect. You are correct (well done do try to build on this momentary success) that the larger financial city was bailed out. However, its net income and tax paid into the Treasury still far outweighs that of the north - and has done since the 1970s.
You are so wrong, it's not worth bothering to explain to someone so deluded.
[quote][p][bold]Voice-of-reality[/bold] wrote: Jonn, The industrial north (particularly places such as Liverpool) were richer than the counties around London until the early years of the 20th century. Your suggestion that the south (as a generic whole) has been richer for 100s of years (no possessive needed by the way), is wrong. Further, the City only became the absolutely dominant financial centre of the country in the 1930s - again, therefore, your comment is factually incorrect. You are correct (well done do try to build on this momentary success) that the larger financial city was bailed out. However, its net income and tax paid into the Treasury still far outweighs that of the north - and has done since the 1970s.[/p][/quote]You are so wrong, it's not worth bothering to explain to someone so deluded. Jonn
  • Score: 0

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