Fighting £157m of county council cuts

Labour leader Ed Milliband in Ilkeston. Derbyshire Labour group leader Anne Western.
Labour leader Ed Milliband in Ilkeston. Derbyshire Labour group leader Anne Western.
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Cuts to the county council’s budget are £30m worse than expected – with savings of £157m to be found over the next five years.

Six councils, including Derbyshire county and Derby city, were denied a meeting with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles after writing to him earlier this month about getting a ‘fair funding deal’ for the county.

File photo dated 26/04/09 of Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, who first announced a pot of money before last autumn's Tory party conference to improve weekly rubbish collections and reverse the trend towards picking up household rubbish only once every two weeks. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday March 11, 2012. Councils are shunning the �250 million Government bid to encourage them to switch back from fortnightly rubbish collections to weekly bin rounds, a survey suggested. The funding is available to councils which return to or maintain weekly waste collections which Mr Pickles has described as a 'basic right', and to cut the number of bins for householders, bring in weekly food waste rounds and boost recycling. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Waste. Photo credit should read: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

File photo dated 26/04/09 of Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, who first announced a pot of money before last autumn's Tory party conference to improve weekly rubbish collections and reverse the trend towards picking up household rubbish only once every two weeks. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Sunday March 11, 2012. Councils are shunning the �250 million Government bid to encourage them to switch back from fortnightly rubbish collections to weekly bin rounds, a survey suggested. The funding is available to councils which return to or maintain weekly waste collections which Mr Pickles has described as a 'basic right', and to cut the number of bins for householders, bring in weekly food waste rounds and boost recycling. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Waste. Photo credit should read: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

Now county leader Cllr Anne Western has said there will be no option but to cut vital services.

“All we’re asking for is a fair deal for the people of Derbyshire and requested a meeting with Mr Pickles to explain the devastating impact these cuts will have on people living across the county.

“Turning down the request of six Derbyshire councils for a face-to-face meeting to discuss our concerns is both disappointing and frustrating.

“We simply cannot keep taking hit after hit. To say these latest cuts are a step too far is an understatement and it is unavoidable our services which residents rely on will face cuts.”

Mr Pickles suggested the six councils – all Labour-led – take part in wider consultation on local government cuts, instead.

Erewash Borough Council did not sign the letter, along with fellow Tory councils Amber Valley and Derbyshire Dales.

“Mr Pickles needs to understand that families are in desperate need and are hurting – you only have to look at the rising number of people forced to use food banks,” added Cllr Western.

“We realise these are tough economic times, but the cuts to local authorities are not fairly applied when compared to other Government departments and areas.”