LETTER: Don’t fall for it

Yvette Cooper MP.
Yvette Cooper MP.

Across our area vital services are being heavily cut.

Schools are the government’s latest target - with £6 million a year planned cuts from Five Towns schools.

It’s an outrage. Especially as some wealthier areas will get more money, so will grammars and free schools. It’s normal high schools and primary schools like ours that the Conservatives have decided to hit.

But it’s not just education. Neighbourhood police officers, social care for the elderly, children’s centres, road repairs, swimming pools – all are badly hit this year, even though it will cost us more in rising crime or poorer health later.

Often Wakefield Council ends up taking flak for cuts in local services – for example over Pontefract Golf Club. Yet they have little choice and councils across the north are being forced into these decisions.

Ministers want people to blame local councils for these cuts. We shouldn’t fall for it. By 2020 the Conservative government will have cut £185 million from Wakefield Council’s budget. Labour councils are losing on average £340 per household compared to only £68 for Tory councils. And at the same time the Conservatives are spending billions on tax cuts for the wealthiest estates, and biggest corporations. For the sake of our children’s education and local services, this government needs to change track.

Yvette Cooper, MP