Coventry South’s MP Jim Cunningham has continued his fight for local government to get fairer funding from central government.
Speaking in a debate about local government funding, Jim highlighted the scale and depth of the issues faced because of the governments brutal cuts to grants. Jim noted that by 2021 there will be deficit of £33 million across councils in Coventry and Warwickshire. As Jim acknowledged: “Between 2010 and 2020, Coventry’s Government grants will have been cut by 50%. The Government are shifting responsibility for grants on to local authorities.”
Jim also highlighted the way in which this move could have a disastarous impact on small businesses. Noting that “on average, small businesses with fewer than 10 employees could face an increase in rates of around £17,000 a year. Now, that is a lot of money and it could put many small businesses, shops in particular, out of business.”
Speaking after the debate, Jim said,
“In Coventry the Council has seen its funding cut by £507 per head, the schools budget is £568 lower per pupil and the police has seen its funding cut by 23%.
“By 2020 this Conservative Government will have effectively taken £655 million in funding from Coventry City Council. They claim that this deficit can be patched up with increased business rates. However I believe that will only end up putting unnecessary strain and pressure on small business owners in Coventry.
“When a service is reduced in our city the blame lies firmly at the door of this Conservative Government. They claim to provide billions more in funding but the reality is, they give with one hand and then take twice as much with the other.”