Rotherham MPs have called on the Government to give the council the funding it needs and halt drastic cuts to local services.
It follows a recent meeting with Rotherham’s chief executive in which MPs were briefed on the council’s 2018/19 Budget, which was published last week.
The Communities Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed the Local Government Finance Settlement in the Commons this week.
Since the Tories came to power, Rotherham Council has had to make savings of £162m and within two years Government cuts to their budget will have reached an eye-watering £200m. At the same time, demand on vital council services like children’s care is soaring.
The letter from to Mr Javid from John Healey, MP for Wentworth & Dearne, and Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley, says the cuts are having a drastic impact on services and the social care system is in crisis.
It reads: “The Government’s cuts are deeply unfair, and hit some of the councils with the greatest need – like Rotherham – the hardest.
“RMBC’s leaders have said that, given the pressure on social care services, future cuts will hit services that the public notice and value. There is simply nowhere else for them to come from.
“On behalf of our town, we urge you to rethink your drastic cuts to local government, put an end to this self-defeating austerity and provide Rotherham MBC with the funding it needs to be able to provide the good services that Rotherham residents need and deserve.”
As in other councils, in Rotherham the children’s and adult care budgets are under particular pressure. In the last 10 years, the number of child protection enquiries has increased seven-fold and the number of looked after children has gone up by 46 per cent.
The number of adults needing care has increased by 3% in the last year, and needs are becoming more complex.
John Healey MP said: “Local councils have seen their budgets slashed by 40 per cent since the Tories came to power, and this will have doubled to nearly 80 per cent by 2020.
“Ordinary families are paying the price of Government cuts. They’re forcing councils to make drastic cuts to services and they’re shifting the burden of bridging the funding gap onto council tax payers.”