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Labour: Tories destroying our high streets and towns

Shadow Communities Secretary responds to the Tories’ town announcement

Labour’s Shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne, has responded to the Tories towns announcement:

The Tories are destroying our high streets and towns.

A decade of vicious cuts to the services that people in our communities rely on, has taken 60p in every £1 from council budgets.

There is a clear choice in this election on 12 December: more of the same with Boris Johnson’s Tories or real change and investment under Labour.”

The Local Government Association (LGA) has found that between 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost 60p out of every £1 they had from central government to run local services.

By 2020, local authorities will have faced a reduction to core funding from the Government of nearly £16 billion over the preceding decade.

Local services face a £7.8 billion funding gap by 2025.

An IFS report out this week highlighted that:

  • Spending per resident in 2009–10 was around 1.6 times higher in the most deprived tenth of councils than in the least deprived councils. In 2019–20, this ratio is expected to be 1.3 times. In other words, the local government funding system remains redistributive but much less so than previously.
  • Cuts have been larger in poorer parts of the country, and the local government funding system is less redistributive than before. For example, cuts to spending per person have averaged 31% for the 15 council areas with the highest levels of deprivation compared to 16% for the 15 council areas with the lowest levels of deprivation since 2009–10.
  • Council’s budgets are increasingly focused on meeting statutory duties, and often little else. 57% of councils’ non-education service budgets now go to adults’ and children’s social care services – with per-person spending on other services falling by 40% on average over the last decade;”
  • Estimated spending on social care for adults aged 65+ has fallen by 18% since 2009–10, despite a more than 20% increase in the number of adults aged 65+.”

(IFS, 13 November 2019)

Labour analysis shows that the most deprived areas of the country are being hit particularly hard. Nine of the ten most deprived councils in the country have seen cuts of almost three times the national average cut of £254 per person.

Deprivation rank by council:

Change in spending power per household 2010/11 to 2019/20:

Kingston upon Hull
Tower Hamlets

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  1. It’s not about me
    Immigration is not a numbers game
    It’s in the manifesto and will be fully costed
    Fake news
    It’s what they do make it up
    Definition of insanity is believing the polls
    Why do we allow polls during the election campaign
    Only party not throwing half the country under a bus
    ‘Team America’
    No evidence yet that the cheap and nasty Tory party strategy is working and now they have pissed of Brexit party not a snowball’s chance, its Peterborough plus plus now

  2. It started with the poll tax and its wretched replacement, the Council Tax, which was NEVER replaced by the newlabour governments (but then again, they never repealled Thatcher’s awful anti-Union legislation, or stopped verious regulators serving corporate interests, or built any social housing, etc., etc.), so are we surprised?? And it will continue until the high-street becomes a mass of bookies, loan and charity shops.

    The Corbyn Labour government is needed by so many poeople for so many reasons.

    All of us need to do more canvasing and to hit more ‘phones – Dialogue is a GREAT Labour party tool.

  3. Every government of whatever politics in a democracy,who cause austerity and a downturn in the economy suffer from a General election.with the public booting out the governing party.The lodgic would dictate a landslide for Labour.I cannot think that any sane person would gladly vote conservative in the situation the country is in.If the torys get in again then we must assume that this is not a democracy or the public are half wits…or both?..The pollsters lie and I do have faith that the people will deliver a Labour government.,but keep our eyes on the election boxes and voter disqualification which I am confident that the lowlife torys will go for….dirty tricks they’ve only just begun

    1. Joseph,do you remember the early 1980s when you couldn’t get anyone to admit they voted for Thatcher? shy voters the media called them.I have a sneaking suspicion that the same is happening now with Labour voters.

      1. Think about it, John. It’s just as likely (if not more so) that there are, again ‘shy’ Tory voters, given the state of the Tories and their leadership by a serial philanderer and incompetent liar. Remember – this lot make even Thatcher look ‘moderate’.

        So the ‘shyness’ will balance out. I’m not pinning salvation on that one.

  4. John Thatcher…Surely Turkeys are not going to vote for Xmass.I will feel devastated if they do and would have to presume that we went into an election with too much baggage and sacrificed too many comrades.!

  5. RH If the public vote for more austerity and privatization with a fully privatized NHS…god help them because nobody else would and that’s it for me.Back to the land of the rising sun 🌞and to a people who need me and I need forget.

    1. I share your fears, Joseph. At this junctureI don’t feel particularly optimistic, even tho’ I think that current polling will probably underestimate actual performance of Labour in the election.

      I’ve never had faith in the ‘wisdom of crowds’ in a society where propaganda is heavily controlled and biased. The UK is more locked into a right wing narrative than at any time I can recall, and although there is plenty of dissatisfaction around, it doesn’t coalesce into actual political awareness in many cases.

      1. RH Remember the landslide of 1997and the estacy , “things can only get better” I was a councillor then and was at the count Sir George Gardner crying,he’d lost his seat defecting to the goldsmith party,and crispin blunt had just been elected in his reigate and banstead seat.I pointed out to him things can only get better,….he left the count a lonley defeated man ,chair of the 1922 commitee and thatchers advisor,.1997 and the torys were still in war with themselves?.Labour we won the argument and the propaganda game.We won the spin and I truly thought we had destroyed thatcherism,Things did get better for a time and I like many others our slogan and billy braggs song.Reality struck after the partying and all night 🌙 celebrations We got the message from HQ…The trusts stay and the market system in our NHS….We new then something wasn’t right then…And here we go again,but this time its a socialist PM……and things can only get better?cant it?

      2. “things can only get better?cant it?”

        Were it so! I share memories of the same period, from the profound sense of disappointment sitting in the Labour Club in the early hours of April 10 1992 to the hope – despite profound reservations – in 1997.

        Things for a while did get better. On the whole. For a while.

        But your question begs its own answer, and I also remember the sense of frustration (I also was a councillor) as it seemed to me that much that was being done was laying down the red carpet for the next Tory government to take over, instead of making it difficult. There was no alternative ideology presented to offer a challenge.

        The inevitable happened in 2010, and the rest is history. The hard fact is that my children – now well into their 30s have never lived under anything other than a right of centre government.

        Labour still suffers from the missed opportunities of 20 years ago in terms of not seizing the agenda and, instead, parachuted metro tourists into safe seats whilst pursuing a lot of policies that were anathema in public services.

        The revivified Party was always going to have an uphill battle – although even my cynicism has been surprised by the sheer transparency of the techniques used, the obviousness of the self-seeking PLP members, and the associated gullibility and susceptibility to propaganda that has emerged.

        So – the question answers itself. Things *can* get better. Whether they will, however is more intractable.

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