At Trafford Council’s recent full Council meeting the majority of Councillors supported a motion urging the government to give the borough a fairer funding deal.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies identified Trafford as the lowest funded local authority compared to 150 similar authorities, meaning it receives £11m less each year on average than similar authorities.
The motion put forward at the meeting noted that Trafford is one of the 20 worst funded councils in the country and its council tax levels are the second lowest in Greater Manchester. It also noted that over many years Trafford has suffered a 60% cut in its budget in real terms and has had to close budget gaps totalling £288 million.
Council leader Cllr Tom Ross said: “We call on the government to review the local government funding system which affects councils of all political backgrounds.”
The motion, which was debated at the meeting on 31 January, also notes that Trafford is one of many councils struggling to maintain current services.
A survey revealed almost one in five council leaders and chief executives think it is very or fairly likely that they will need to issue a section 114 notice this year or next. A section 114 notice is where a council effectively declares themselves bankrupt. A number of councils have already issued section 114 notices, leading to drastic cuts in services.
Cllr Ross added: “Thankfully, we are not in section 114 territory, but it is a real struggle to set a budget for the next financial year. We need to give the right support to the most vulnerable in our society or they will suffer greatly. We are urging the government to give us fair funding so we give them the help they so badly need.”
The motion also asked for Trafford MPs and Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to continue to support the campaign and publicly call on the government to deliver a fair funding settlement for Trafford.
Posted on Monday 5th February 2024