Derek Twigg MP

Member of Parliament for Halton

Recent Activity

Halton MP Derek Twigg has today written a joint letter with the Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury to Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government regarding the severe and punishing funding cuts levelled on Halton by government since 2010.  This follows the Local Government Finance Settlement statement in the House of Commons yesterday, when the Secretary of State suggested 'restructuring' as an answer to the serious concerns Derek raised about Halton's government funding.  You can watch the exchange here.

The Halton Parliamentary Constituency is made up of Widnes, West Runcorn & Hale Village. The Weaver Vale Parliamentary Constituency includes East Runcorn.

 

Dear Mr Javid,

Response to questions raised in House of Commons 19th December 2017 

We were hugely concerned to hear your response to Halton Council’s dire financial situation during the Local Government Finance Statement on 19th December 2017. 

Neither of us made any mention of council restructuring and there is absolutely no will locally to see Halton Council abolished, which seems to be what you were suggesting. This certainly does not fit in with your government’s “localism” agenda! Why should a council like Halton be restructured out of existence? A council that is one of the most successful councils in the country, having played a pivotal role in delivering major improvements to the Borough since it came into existence in 1974. This is a local authority that has just delivered a huge £billion infrastructure project, the Mersey Gateway, on time and to budget. 

You appear to have used your response to avoid addressing what is the fundamental problem - your Government is massively underfunding local government. You have forced Councils like Halton into making huge cuts to local services. Halton has had its funding cut by over 60% since 2010 and will have faced cuts of £63m by 2020. If the current underfunding continues then Halton will struggle to be able to meet its statutory obligations for Adult Social Care and Children’s Services.  Your announcement yesterday, allowing council’s to raise more from council tax locally, will not be anywhere near enough to address the funding problems Halton faces and will only put a greater burden on local people, who live in one of the most socially deprived boroughs in England.  Additionally, Halton does not get any great benefit from the changes to business rates because of its low base.

There is absolutely no appetite locally to see Halton merged with or swallowed up by a larger neighbouring local authority.  We should be about extending democracy not diminishing it. What is needed is a sustainable funding plan for the future of local government from central government.  A plan that halts and starts to reverse cuts to funding, so that councils can deliver the local services that ensure the needs of their local population are met.

We would request a meeting with you to discuss Halton’s financial position and the pressure it is facing, especially in Adult Social Care and Children’s Services. We look forward to hearing from you in the near future. 

Yours sincerely,

Derek Twigg MP – Halton

Mike Amesbury MP – Weaver Vale

Halton & Government Funding Cuts

Halton MP Derek Twigg has today written a joint letter with the Weaver Vale MP Mike Amesbury to Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government regarding...

Derek has this week written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in support of the Leader of Halton Borough Council, Cllr Rob Polhill's, call for a fair pay rise for council workers to be fully funded by central government and calling on the Chancellor to use the Local Government Finance Settlement next week to begin to reverse the devastating funding cuts to Halton.  You can read both their letters below.

Dear Phillip,

I attach a copy of the letter sent to you from the leader of Halton Borough Council, Cllr Rob Polhill.  I fully support his and many other council leaders’ calls for central government to fully fund the cost of a pay rise for local government workers.   

Local government workers in my constituency of Halton have effectively suffered real term pay cuts since 2010; combined with increases to the cost of living and the severe pressures they are facing due to the continued slashing of government funding to areas like Halton, this has meant that these workers; many of whom are my constituents, are people at the forefront of the brunt of government funding cuts.    

In addition to the issue of pay rises for council workers, I am extremely concerned about the funding cuts that central government have imposed on Halton Borough Council.  I have lived in this area all of my life and I can see first- hand the terrible effect that government funding cuts are having on my constituency and on my constituents.  Currently by 2020, Halton will have endured cuts of £63 million, 61 per cent of its income.  

Labour Councillors in Halton have done their very best to protect the weakest, most vulnerable  people and vital public services from the financial cuts inflicted on Halton by government.  However, I cannot see how this can continue with a forecast deficit by this financial year end of £2 million in their Adult Social Care Budget and £6 million in their Children’s Social Care Budget.   

I ask that you urgently start to reverse the cuts planned for councils like Halton in the Local Government Finance Settlement next week.  

 

Derek Twigg MP 

 

 

Dear Chancellor,

As Labour council leaders we run councils that employ hundreds of thousands of hard-working staff who are delivering vital public services to the British public. We rely on our workforce to keep our children safe, offer support to vulnerable elderly and disabled people, and to staff the services we all use – such as children’s centres, parks, and libraries.

With the cost of living rising by 22.6% since 2010, local government workers have lost the equivalent of £1 of every £5 they earned before and are now the lowest paid in the public sector. Women, who make up 78% of the local government workforce, are bearing the brunt.

Our ability to offer the sort of pay rise our workers deserve is severely restrained by the cuts you have forced on local councils. Core funding to local government will have been slashed by an astonishing 77%, with the cross-party Local Government Association estimating a funding gap of £5.8bn by 2020. It is vital that you take the opportunity of the Local Government Finance Settlement to ensure we have the resources to give our staff a fair rise.

Therefore as Labour Council leaders we are calling on you to:

  • Lift the 1% pay cap on public sector workers, including for workers in local government

  • Guarantee that a pay rise for local government workers will be fully funded by central government

  • Urgently address the £5.8bn gap in funding that councils face by 2020 

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you.  

Yours sincerely,

 

Cllr Rob Polhill, Leader of Halton Borough Council,

With Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of the LGA Labour Group, and 89 other Labour council leaders

 

Local Government Finance Settlement - Halton

Derek has this week written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in support of the Leader of Halton Borough Council, Cllr Rob Polhill's, call for a fair pay rise for...

Derek has today written to David Gauke MP, Secretary of State for Work & Pensions regarding his concerns for his constituents on Universal Credit and early paid December wages. Getting paid from work early will be recognised by the Universal Credit system as receiving two wages in one Assessment Period for some of them and their Universal Credit being cut at Christmas.

Early_Christmas_Pay.jpg

Universal Credit and Early Christmas Wages

Derek has today written to David Gauke MP, Secretary of State for Work & Pensions regarding his concerns for his constituents on Universal Credit and early paid December wages. Getting...


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