Living in rural Wales, This Writer is aware of the cuts’ effect on council services. If this is due to losses of just four per cent, I’m the Pope.
It does support the rural Tories’ point, however. If Powys is suffering on a four per cent cut, then what of rural England.
Sadly, it seems a little late for these MPs to complain about it. Where were they when the cuts were first discussed? Why didn’t they say anything at a more appropriate time?
Did they really think their constituencies would not be affected?
Or did they think they could fool their voters into thinking that the effect would not be as bad as it is?
David Cameron is facing the prospect of a major backbench Tory rebellion over planned cuts to town hall budgets, amid claims that rural areas are being unfairly targeted.
Up to 50 MPs are understood to have signed a letter demanding changes to the Government’s proposed settlement with local government, which was published last month.
Senior backbencher Graham Stuart, the former chairman of the Education Select Committee, has been named by a number of Tory MPs as the “shop steward” leading the “rural resistance” to the cuts.
The letter calling for shire councils to be given more money has been sent to the Communities Secretary, Greg Clarke, before a final deal is laid before the Commons within the next fortnight.
One Conservative MP said: “There are a lot of us who are absolutely furious about this. We accept the need for cuts, but it’s about fairness. How can it be right that rural councils are facing cuts of 33 per cent, but urban areas – where it is cheaper to provide services – are facing a reduction of just 19 per cent? In Wales, it’s just 8 per cent and Scotland 4 per cent.”
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