This article is from Alison’s weekly column for the Wirral News. This post is from 19th February and can be read on the Wirral News website here.
I was proud last week when Labour Cllr Phil Davies, leader of Wirral Council, announced that Labour wishes to freeze Wirral Council tax bills for two years.
He has successfully juggled a very difficult budget and made savings to help local residents who are being hit hard by a cost of living crisis caused by the Tories and Lib Dems.
Not only will we look to freeze council tax bills, but Labour has also committed more money to building affordable homes, keeping school crossing patrols, keeping the Williamson Art Gallery open until a trust is able to take over its running, and an increase in action against fly-tipping.
But be under no illusion about the cuts to local councils made by the Tories and Lib Dems in government.
They are targeting them against the people who can least afford them.
Councils like Wirral receive the majority of their funding from the UK government, but new figures about the cuts to this funding show that Wirral Council and local residents are getting a raw deal.
There are 326 local councils in England. Of those, Wirral is the 60th most deprived area.
While Wirral people have worked hard to keep our economy going, there are still real pockets of poverty that must not be ignored.
Yet between 2010-11 and 2015-16 Wirral faces a reduction of 20.8% in spending power per household.
You can compare this to councils in some of the wealthiest areas in the country. For example David Cameron’s own council, West Oxfordshire, is the ninth least deprived area in England. But his council is getting an increase in spending power of 3.1% in 2013-14.
Quite clearly, we are not all in this together.