Pickles outlines cuts for councils

Pickles outlines cuts for councils

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Eric Pickles has outlined the spending cuts that local councils face

Town halls in England will face no more than an 8.9% reduction in their spending power next year, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said.

Setting out the financial settlement for councils for the next two years, Mr Pickles said the average reduction in spending power for 2011/12 would be 4.4%.

But he did not give the exact figures for cuts to councils’ revenue support grant in his statement to the Commons.

The figure was not immediately available from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Shadow communities secretary Caroline Flint asked why the precise cuts to the revenue support grant had not been released.

She also questioned the spending power formula used by Mr Pickles, which also includes money raised from council tax and NHS funding to help with social care.

She described the settlement as “the most devastating cuts in funding for a generation”.

Mr Pickles told MPs he was focusing on local government total spending following lobbying from the Local Government Association (LGA).

He said: “As far as possible I have given the LGA what they asked for. I have made sure that no authority will face more than an 8.9% reduction in spending power for either 2011 or 2012/13.

“The average reduction spending power for 2011/2012 is 4.4%.”

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