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Caroline Lucas and Green councillors take cuts protest to Downing Street

 

Downing Street Delegation
Pic: L-R Brighton and Hove councillors Lizzie Deane and Jason Kitcat, Caroline Lucas MP
and councillors Phelim Mac Cafferty and Ruth Buckley at 11 Downing Street


Government’s programme of cuts to our city is short-sighted, irresponsible and wholly unjust

Brighton Pavilion MP, Caroline Lucas, together with Brighton & Hove city councillors Jason Kitcat (council leader) Phélim Mac Cafferty, Lizzie Deane (council deputy leaders) and Councillor Ruth Buckley are to visit Downing Street on the afternoon of Wednesday December 5, 2012, to present a letter on behalf of the people of Brighton & Hove and Brighton Pavilion constituency to the door of No 11, the residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon George Osborne MP.

The letter (full copy below) will outline their concerns that the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, delivered earlier that day, and other government statements on welfare and council support, are unfairly singling out the people of Brighton & Hove for government cuts.

Councillor Jason Kitcat said, “This government and this Chancellor are doing harm to the residents and businesses of Brighton & Hove, singling us out for cuts two or three times more severe than other south east authorities. They’re also threatening the very existence of local government, with forecasts of cuts so deep that there will be no government funding left for local councils after 2020.”

The letter, signed by the above members of the city’s Green leadership, states, “Unlike most other local authorities, Brighton & Hove has been singled out for the harshest of cuts. Figures … show that Brighton & Hove has been targeted for the deepest cuts per head of population in the whole of the south east of England, cuts that are between two and three times greater than any other council in the region.”

“The people of Brighton & Hove do not deserve the government’s short-sighted, irresponsible and wholly unjust programme of cuts to our city.”

Caroline Lucas MP said, “It is completely unacceptable that the people of Brighton & Hove should have to face such severe government cuts in the name of an austerity programme that is now widely acknowledged to be failing, and that they should be suffering so much more deeply than the rest of the region. We are certainly not all in this together – with Brighton & Hove being hit even harder than our neighbours.”

The MP and Councillors ask the Chancellor to re-appraise the level of cuts being imposed on Brighton & Hove, concluding the letter with:

“We urge you to reconsider the cuts outlined in your Autumn Statement and to think again.”

 

Notes

For more information please contact the Green Party office on 01273 766 670.

Letter to the Rt Hon George Osborne MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
11 Downing Street
London
SW1A 2AA

Dear Mr Osborne

We wish to outline our concerns on behalf of the residents of Brighton and Hove in relation to your Autumn Statement and other government announcements regarding local authority and welfare financing.

Like many local authorities, Brighton & Hove faces severe cuts to its income and so to essential services, in the name of austerity, while at the same time trying to adjust to an increase in the cost of caring for our city’s most vulnerable adults and children, who themselves are confronted by cuts to their welfare and benefit payments.

But unlike most other local authorities, Brighton & Hove has been singled out for the harshest of cuts. Figures compiled by Newcastle City Council and published by the Guardian show that Brighton & Hove has been targeted for the deepest cuts per head of population in the whole of the south east of England, cuts that are between two and three times greater than any other council in the region.

And there may yet be more to come as your government’s continuing announcements throughout December and January mean that we presently find it incredibly difficult to know our total income or how to allocate our expenditure for the coming year.

Further, as we look at the increasing level of cuts projected for our city over this year and the coming years, we are extremely concerned that central government funding of local government will cease to exist after 2020, damaging our city’s residents, businesses, and community and voluntary organisations.

The people of Brighton & Hove do not deserve the government’s short-sighted, irresponsible and wholly unjust programme of cuts to our city.

We call on you and your government to re-evaluate urgently your unjust targeting of Brighton & Hove and the austerity measures that are set to do so much harm to those who need and deserve the support of their local and national governments.

We urge you to reconsider the cuts outlined in your Autumn Statement and to think again.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Jason Kitcat, Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council
Councillors Phélim Mac Cafferty and Lizzie Deane, Deputy Leaders of Brighton and Hove City Council
For and on behalf of the residents of the city of Brighton & Hove
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion
For and on behalf of the people of Brighton Pavilion

 

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