Cuts hitting north harder

Dr Craig Berry of SPERI.
Dr Craig Berry of SPERI.

Budget cuts are disproportionately affecting northern councils and those in the most deprived areas, according to a new Sheffield report.

Research by the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute also found that Labour councils have been more severely affected than Conservative controlled authorities.

Councils in Yorkshire have seen funding slashed by almost £200 per person, compared to £74 in the south east. The average is £130.

For Labour councils the average cut is £160 per person, while for Conservative ones the figure is £69, and for LibDems £76.

The study found the most deprived local authority areas have experienced the most significant cuts. Councils in the top ten per cent most deprived areas have seen an average cut of £228 per person.

In contrast councils in the top ten per cent of least deprived areas have seen an average cut of only £45 per person.

Co-author Dr Craig Berry said: “There is a clear pattern to the cuts experienced by local authorities in England, with councils in the north, in more deprived areas, or controlled by Labour have seen more significant reductions.

“It is impossible to say the coalition has focused spending cuts on northern or Labour-controlled councils. Rather they have failed to protect deprivation-related spending, meaning that the councils which previously had higher budgets due to higher levels of deprivation have seen the largest cuts.”