Leeds City Council leader warns of ‘unthinkable’ council cutbacks

Leeds City Council’s leader is warning a recently announced Government funding cut means the authority is facing making “unthinkable” savings.

Councillor Keith Wakefield was speaking after last week’s announcement that a two-year grant settlement for local authorities would see Leeds lose ten per cent of its budget for the coming year, then a further 15 per cent in the following 12 months.

Coun Wakefield (Lab, Kippax & Methley) said that decision, which followed three years of cuts since the coalition took power, left the council – which provides services for residents in Wharfedale, Horsforth and Aireborough – having to look at “all options”.

He said: “The announcement has confirmed our worst fears.

“Continuing cuts on this level are not fair for Leeds residents, who are facing their services being reduced or stopped altogether.

“We will continue to make all the savings we can, but we have moved beyond the realm of the sensible and are now having to think the unthinkable.”

The Government claims the cuts have been allocated fairly across the country and are part of local councils sharing the ongoing austerity drive.

Coun Wakefield, however, said there was a widening funding gap between the south and north.

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