Local Government and Social Care Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:40 pm on 24th April 2019.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Co-National Campaign Coordinator, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 1:40 pm, 24th April 2019

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. We should stand firm against terrorist atrocities wherever they are perpetrated. We should stand strong as a community, both in the United Kingdom and in the global community, against such acts of terror. We should call them out wherever they take place.

I welcome the opportunity to raise the important matter of local government funding in an Opposition day debate, especially considering how scarce the opportunities are for the Opposition to raise matters in such debates. I pay tribute to the shadow Leader of the House, my hon. Friend Valerie Vaz, whose dogged pursuit of that issue has allowed us to debate this important matter today.

In this place our discussion has been dominated by Brexit, but across the country our local councils, and the local services people rely on, are straining at the seams. I pay tribute to councillors of all political persuasions and none for the work they do in serving their communities. I pay tribute to the council officers and dedicated public servants who deliver neighbourhood and care services on the frontline. Years of uncertainty and unfair funding have created a quiet crisis that is now impossible to ignore. Under this Government, the facts speak for themselves: local authorities have faced a reduction to core funding of nearly £16 billion since 2010. That means that councils will have lost 60p out of every £1 that the previous Labour Government provided to spend on local services.

When the Prime Minister entered Downing Street, she promised to build a country that works for everyone, and she then promised an end to austerity. As her time in office probably comes to an end, we are able to reflect on both of those promises. Like in many areas of her leadership, I am sure we will all find that in both those areas she has been sorely lacking.