Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson's concern at latest cuts to councils

Bill Esterson

Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson expressed his deep concern at the latest cuts to local councils announced by the government.

The cuts of 6.7% are on top of cuts of 50% which have already been inflicted on councils across Merseyside and do not take account of additional responsibilities passed on to councils by the government.

The MP also pointed out that councils had no choice other than to cut services due to the extreme cuts imposed by the government and that local people should not believe ministers who blame councillors for making cuts forced on them by the government. 

Bill Esteron said that increases in charges to parking were the result of government cuts and that the potential damage to the local economy and to business was a direct result of those cuts.

Mr Esterson said: "The government has already made cuts of more than half in council budgets. It is clear that when services like libraries, leisure centres and day children’s centres close that these are Tory closures made by the government. 

"Some people, including government ministers, are trying to blame Labour councillors and that simply does not stack up. Councillors are doing the best they can but these cuts are making it impossible to protect services. 

"Councils like Sefton have had to make cuts and to increase parking charges but this is because of the government. So people in Formby who are rightly concerned about parking charges should ask the government why it is cutting so savagely. It is counter productive to businesses to put up parking charges. It is counter productive to businesses to cut public services as well. 

"Businesses need good transport, clean streets, good health and education services. Staff and business owners rely on public services and customers of businesses want safe streets and neighbourhoods. 

"It is very short sighted to cut services to the extent that the Tories have done and such cuts do not help the wider economy or local businesses. 

"The scale of the cuts has made it very difficult for Sefton Council, for Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and for Merseyside Police. With millions of pounds of cuts still to come, the outlook
continues to be bleak for services and for the knock on impact on the economy. 

"But remember, when looking at the reason for the cuts, the Tories blame local councils. The cuts are being made out of political choice not as economic necessity. 

"A successful long term economy depends on strong public services, just as successful public services depend on a strong economy. By cutting services in such an extreme way, the Tories have undermined the fabric of society but they have also undermined the potential economic success and prosperity of Merseyside and of the country.”