Cuts in local funding hit the most deprived areas

Categories: Background

Jaws of Doom

If you are curious and you have a look to the Birmingham City Council budget for 2013 you will notice that one of the first things they mention is a graph very similar to the one shown above.

This is commonly known as the Jaws of Doom and it represents the gap between the foreseen expenses and the income, which relies on the government grants.

The Jaws of Doom are used as a metaphor of the precarious situation of the local authorities finance. And at the same time they are used as an excuse to justify spending cuts in some basic public services, including those for children.

Birmingham City Council has to save £615 million by 2017 if it doesn’t want to go bankrupt. But is this an exception or this cuts in local funding affect the whole country?

Data compiled by Newcastle City Council and published by The Guardian suggests that some local authorities are being hit harder than others. The most common profile is an urban council, ruled by the Labour Party and with high levels of deprivation and child poverty.

The map that follows shows an estimation of how many pounds per person are going to be cut in the English local authorities for the period 2010-2015. The national average is about £100 but as you can see there are big differences between the North and the South and also between the rural and urban authorities.

 

 

London boroughs and the cities of the North are those who suffer more cuts. Places like Hackney or Liverpool, with an extremely high deprivation, are among the authorities that have to face larger reductions of their income.

If we mash this data with the child poverty rates that we used for the last post, we find out that the 10% poorest authorities suffer more cuts than the richest 10%.

 

 

It is also interesting to mention tho show how local authorities with a Labour government are more likely to suffer cuts over the average than those with a Conservative majority.

We have created an infographic with a summary of all the local authorities to show how many councils are facing cuts under and over the average according to their political alignment.

 

 

Finally, it’s important to mention that Birmingham is in the Top 20 of the local authorities with the highest cuts, reaching a reduction of £227 per person by 2015. Very far from the national average of £100.

Author: Duarte Romero Varela

Datajournalist

Leave a Reply