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Thursday, 19 October 2017 10:35
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We wrote the following letter, which was published in the Stroud News and Journal on Wednesday 18th October 2017:


Dear Editor,

At “Stroud Against The Cuts” we would like to say well done to the Stroud District Councillors who have told the government “Enough is Enough” and are refusing to hand back more than £500,000 to central government.

Austerity has been going on for seven years, ever since the Conservative Party has been in power. In the 2010/11 financial year, Stroud District Council received a Formula Grant of £6.55 million from central government. This has been cut dramatically since to the point where there will soon be no central government grant at all. Nationally, local authorities have been handed cuts of over £20 billion since 2010 – central government grants to local councils have fallen by 38%. This is unfair – it means wealthier areas that can raise more taxation locally are more able to provide for their residents than poorer areas where residents may need more support. Central government cuts have an impact: in this paper there have been stories recently that the council is planning to end free parking, and that around 20% of the staff at the council may lose their jobs. Meanwhile, the future of the Subscription Rooms is uncertain, and there are rumours about the Museum in the Park too.

Although political parties have important differences, it is good to see that local Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat district councillors will stand together against central government cuts to our district. Together councillors from these parties make up the majority of Stroud District Council, and their cooperation has made this challenge possible. Hopefully, their decision to challenge the government will provide an example to other councils within Gloucestershire - and support councils throughout the country who feel forced to take similar action.

Stroud Against the Cuts is not affiliated to any political party, and we have challenged the District Council on previous occasions. Credit where it is due, we would like to thank these councillors for showing courage and leadership in resisting the government; and we offer our support in applying further pressure.