From the TUC

Local government cuts will hit deprived areas

20 Jun 2010, by in Public services

Last week the Department for Communities and Local Government published the details of the £1.166 billion of local government cuts. This gives us a chance to check on the Coalition’s claim that they will “introduce arrangements that will protect those on low incomes from the effect of public sector pay constraint and other spending constraints.”

The main central government grant to local authorities is not affected, instead, a series of special grants covering services for areas with extra needs in transport, housing, social exclusion and education have been targeted. The cuts will be passed on through reductions in individual grants to local authorities, with a guarantee that “no individual local authority will face a reduction in their revenue grant of more than 2%.”

I’ve checked on whether these cuts will be fair by comparing the list of cuts for each local authority (the average cut is 0.7%) with each authority’s ranking in DCLG’s own indices of deprivation. The most recent indices are for 2007, and I’ve used the ranking for authorities’ average scores over the different indices which runs from Liverpool, the worst deprived, to Hart, the 354th most deprived.

First of all, I’ve looked at the ten authorities with the maximum two per cent cut. None is ranked lower than 81 and the average ranking is 47:

Local authorities facing a 2%

LA Name Deprivation ranking
Ashfield

81

Barrow-in-Furness

29

Bolsover

55

Burnley

21

Great Yarmouth

58

Hastings

31

Hyndburn

40

Norwich

62

Pendle

44

Preston

48

This puts them all in the most deprived quarter of local authorities. Looking at the 30 local authorities with the worst deprivation scores, only one faces a cut of less than the 0.7% all-England average:

Cuts facing the 30 most deprived local authorities

Local authority

% reduction in revenue grant

Liverpool

-1.2

Hackney

-0.8

Tower Hamlets

-0.7

Manchester

-0.9

Knowsley

-1.3

Newham

-0.8

Easington No longer exists – merged into a unitary authority
Islington

-0.9

Middlesbrough

-1.3

Birmingham

-0.7

Hull

-1.1

Blackpool

-1.4

Nottingham

-1.1

Sandwell

-0.9

Salford

-1.1
Stoke-on-Trent

-1.1

Blackburn with Darwen

-1.7

Haringey

-0.9

Lambeth

-0.6

Leicester

-0.8

Burnley

-2.0

Barking and Dagenham

-0.9

Hartlepool

-1.2

Greenwich

-0.7

Rochdale

-0.9

Southwark

-0.7

Waltham Forest

-0.7

Wolverhampton

-0.9

Barrow-in-Furness

-2.0

Halton

-1.1

So we know that the most deprived areas will fare worse than the average and that those facing the worst cuts are more deprived than other local authorities.

Let’s look at the other end of the scale. The median average deprivation score is Mid Devon’s 17.34. 33 local authorities have a score of less than half this; how have the cuts affected them? The answer is that most are not affected at all – the general grant, the main source of funding for local authorities is not being cut this year, and these better-off areas usually did not qualify for any of the special grants that are being hit:

Cuts facing the least deprived local authorities

Deprivation score

% reduction in revenue grant

Blaby

8.41

Chiltern

7.02

East Dorset

8.46

East Hampshire

8.06

East Hertfordshire

7.41

Elmbridge

7.12

Epsom and Ewell

7.43

Fareham

7.28

Guildford

8.20

Harborough

7.08

Hart

4.13

Horsham 7.38
Mid Bedfordshire

7.23

No longer exists – merged into a unitary authority
Mid Sussex

6.94

Mole Valley

7.25

Reigate and Banstead

8.59

Runnymede

8.33

Rushcliffe

8.13

Rutland

7.49

-1.01

South Bucks

8.35

South Cambridgeshire

6.55

South Northamptonshire

6.46

South Oxfordshire

7.75

Surrey Heath

5.75

Tandridge

8.49

Uttlesford

6.94

Vale of White Horse

7.23

Waverley

6.86

West Berkshire

8.19

-0.70

West Oxfordshire

6.67

Winchester

7.16

Windsor and Maidenhead

8.51

-0.81

Wokingham

5.36

-0.67

When local government minister Bob Neill said that “those in greatest need ultimately bear the burden of paying off the debt” he spoke nothing less than the truth.

3 Responses to Local government cuts will hit deprived areas

  1. Tweets that mention Local government cuts will hit deprived areas | ToUChstone blog: A public policy blog from the TUC — Topsy.com
    Jun 20th 2010, 1:09 pm

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  2. Andrew Curry
    Jun 20th 2010, 1:44 pm

    Richard,

    To clarify the typo in the post above: Hart is the LEAST deprived borough in Britain, as I recall.

  3. John Wood

    john
    Jun 21st 2010, 8:24 am

    hi Andrew. yes, I think that’s what’s meant by the stats here, rather than a typo – 354th most deprived is 1st least deprived, making Hart the opposite end of the scale from Liverpool. I admit it caused me a bit of double take too to read least deprived as a rank amongst the most deprived, but guess most consistent with original stats table to present like this.