Letter - Cuts are biased against Northern communities

Austerity, austerity and more austerity, it’s the cure for everything, if you’re the Government.

And with local councils taking a massive hit, I thought it would be interesting to see where Wakefield Council fell on Cameron’s hitlist.

I was staggered to learn that out of the 325 councils in England Wakefield ranked 63rd on the list of the highest amount of cuts to make. In simple terms, since 2010 the amount of money Wakefield Council has had to spend on (us) per head is £127.66 less.

In comparison to Cameron’s own constituency area of West Oxfordshire which ranked 316th, where the council has only been dealt cuts which amount in real terms to £59.49 per person.

I don’t think this is fair. It’s not right that areas that are wealthier and healthier are seeing increases in spending, while others that need more per head are facing the loss of important services because of budget cuts. You only have to look at the research to see that these cuts are biased against Northern communities like ours.

We hear that the economy is on the up... but it doesn’t feel like that to me. So what’s the answer to getting us back on our feet?

The Government thinks it’s cutting our budget by £170 million! I don’t agree. I think our area needs proper investment in jobs, transport and infrastructure. And jobs that aren’t part time, temporary and zero hour contracts.

We need real jobs. Of all the 18 to 25 year olds in Pontefract the number of unemployed people is 44%, staggering to say that the economy is on the up!

I’ve been out talking to people from Chequerfield, Carleton, Wentbridge and Darrington. And the overwhelming consensus is that this government is not for them.

Whether it’s Bedroom Tax or the cost of living, people in our area are feeling the pinch.

The council are trying their hardest to soften the blow but with even more cuts expected, there’s real concern that unless we get a change of policy, we could start to lose some very important services indeed.

George Ayre (Labour Party representative)

Swanhill Lane

Pontefract