Teesside councils have again suffered worse than average cuts in the latest government funding announcement.
Figures released today show Middlesbrough Council‘s ‘spending power‘ – the total amount it has at its disposal through central grants and council tax – will fall by £8.9m from £158.4mm in 2014-15 to £149.5m in 2015-16.
That is a cut of 5.6% – compared to an average cut for all English councils of 1.8%.
Redcar and Cleveland will lose £5.2m, or 3.7%, while Stockton emerged relatively unscathed – down £3.6m, or 2.1%.
The list of worst-hit areas is dominated by Labour-dominated parts of the Midlands and North.
> Well, what a suprise !
Tamworth in Staffordshire faces the biggest cut, of 6.4%, followed by Barrow in Furness and Chesterfield.
At the other end of the scale, a number of councils in the South of England will actually see their spending power go up.
Tewkesbury will see the biggest increase, of 3.2%, while Surrey will get an extra £27m, or 3.1%.
Other towns and counties getting an increase include East Devon (up 2.7%), Buckinghamshire (up 2.3%), Cambridge (up 2.3%), Dorset (up 1.9%) and Cheshire East (up 1.4%).
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 18 Dec 2014
From the xmas edition of Fortean Times (#309) – available from all good newsagents (and W.H. Smiths).
In an assessment for Employment Support Allowance, Gary Swift, 40, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, who was born without a right arm, was asked (in all seriousness):
“Do you expect your arm to grow back within the next two years ?”
The interviewer was an employee of Atos, a company that runs the assessments for the Department for Work & Pensions.
Well, they do say you could wheel a week-old corpse in front of Atos and they would pass it fit for work… growing a new arm seems quite a minor expectation by comparison.