Shapps hits out at cash-hoarding Labour councils

Manchester council has cash reserve of nearly £100 million, Shapps says
Manchester council has cash reserve of nearly £100 million, Shapps says

By staff

Labour councils who are making public service cuts while refusing to dip into their cash reserves are facing criticism from Grant Shapps.

The local government minister is publishing a list of the Labour-run councils he says are not using their 'rainy-day money' later.

Manchester has cash reserves of nearly £100 million but is cutting street-cleaning services and libraries, while Liverpool is cutting nurseries and leisure centres despite upping its reserves to over £120 million.

"People will rightly be shocked that Labour councils have billions stashed away when they hear stories of cuts to local services," Mr Shapps said.

"Sensible financial planning is about putting cash away when the sun is shining so you have some cover during the rainy days.

"Thanks to Labour's deficit, it is now pouring."

With local elections approaching on May 5th, the Conservatives are sharpening their attacks on the few remaining Labour administrations as they seek to defend the local authorities they won last May.

Coalition ministers have repeatedly blamed Labour for cutting services despite the massive public spending cuts imposed on local government as a result of last year's comprehensive spending review.

"These reserves exist to ensure councils can react to unforeseen situations like clearing up the economic mess left by Labour," Mr Shapps added.

"They should learn from the Conservative councils across the country who are finding innovative ways to save local taxpayers money while delivering more for less."

Labour has responded by pointing out that it is the Tories who have the largest reserves in the country - and are making the largest cuts.

A Labour spokesperson said: "Voters won't be fooled by the Tories' attempt to divert attention away from the fact that communities are facing the worst cuts in a generation because of the Tory-led government's decision to hit councils with cuts that go too far, too fast and which are front-loaded rather than spread out over four years."


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