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Jon Trickett: Public services in Wakefield are ‘stretched to breaking point’

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Year on year cuts, brought about by this Tory government’s obsession with austerity, have left public services in the Wakefield District stretched to breaking point.

But it’s not just Wakefield. Local authorities across the country are set to lose 79 per cent of the direct funding that they had in 2010 by 2020, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

What do those cuts mean in reality?

- More than a million of our elderly people are living with their care needs unmet.

- 41 per cent of children services now unable to fulfil their statutory duties – as the number of children taken into care is at its highest level since 1985.

- Almost a fifth of specialist women’s refugees have been forced to close.

- Average pay of local authority employees delivering front-line services is down by 21 per cent - leaving many in personal debt.

- More than 500 libraries, 300 children’s centres and 500 playgrounds are set to be closed.

All of these individual issues, and more besides, add up to a national crisis. Local authorities cannot cope with these cuts and, to make matters worse, there is no end in sight. I’ve seen the impact this has had on our local buses, our houses and social care for the vulnerable, and it’s made me very worried.

The Tories want to pretend there is no money available for our public services or public sector workers, yet they are still ploughing ahead with billions of pounds’ worth of tax giveaways to big businesses.

They have taken a political decision to take money away from our communities and our services while they line the pockets of the super-rich. When they had to, they found billions to strike a deal the DUP in Northern Ireland in order to keep themselves in power.

The Tories aren’t prepared to acknowledge the effects their cuts are having, and those rare few that do won’t hold up their hands and accept responsibility.

It’s rank hypocrisy that Defence Minister Gavin Williamson has created a petition to oppose cuts to his constituency’s buses, when he is at the centre of the government imposing these very cuts.

You couldn’t make it up, and it reminds us once more that only a Labour government will act in the best interests of the many, not the few.

If you would like to speak to me about public service funding, or any other issue, then give my office a call on 01977 655695 or email jtrickett@jontrickett.org.uks

You can also drop into my constituency office, at Moorthorpe Railway Station, from 9.30am to 4pm Monday to Friday, or use the contact me form on my website.

Alternatively, visit www.jontrickett.org.uk to keep up to date with all my constituency campaigns and my Parliamentary work.