Mayor writes to government

MAYOR Stuart Drummond has written to Government outlining concerns about savage budget cuts.

Mayor Drummond posted a letter to Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, about the council’s financial settlement for 2012-13.

Grant cuts have been classed as “spending power cuts” and Hartlepool has the 9th highest reduction in England.

Mayor Drummond said that over the first two years of the government’s spending review, Hartlepool has suffered cumulative spending power cuts significantly higher than the national average, 14.5 per-cent compared to the national average of 7.7 per-cent.

The letter read: “This decision now locks the grant cuts in for future years and for Hartlepool results in a 2012-13 spending power reduction of £141.98 per dwelling, which is nearly twice the national average of £75.66.”

He added: “The Government needs to recognise that cuts in grant mean that a greater proportion of council expenditure is being funded from Council Tax.”

Mayor Drummond called on the Government to recognise the impact of grant cuts when considering future reductions in funding.

He said he was not seeking a meeting with Ministers because he does not believe it would be “appropriate” to spend public money sending a small delegation to London.

The letter was sent last month and Mayor Drummond confirmed at the cabinet committee meeting that he is yet to receive a reply.