MP criticises Labour plans to defund Parish Councils across Erewash

Published on: Thursday, 24th August 2023
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Maggie Throup MP

Erewash MP Maggie Throup has hit back at plans put forward by Labour-controlled Erewash Borough Council to defund Parish Councils by tens of thousands of pounds by scrapping the Concurrent Grant.

In a leaked email sent this week, Labour’s Lead Member for Resourcing, Cllr Gordon Thomas, detailed how his Party proposes to cut Parish Council funding to just £2,000.00 in 2024/25 and then withdrawn it completely in 2025/26.

In a statement, Ms Throup said that Parish Councils in Breaston, Draycott, Risley, Sandiacre, Sawley and Stanton-by Dale provide immense value for money to the Council Taxpayer, delivering and maintaining vital local services in addition to organising a number of community-based events each year, such as Christmas Light displays and Remembrance commemorations.  

It also said that this work is largely funded by the Concurrent Grant, which is designed to give parity between the parishes and larger towns that make up our Borough, preventing a situation whereby residents living in the parishes are charged twice for the same public service when compared to those living in Ilkeston and Long Eaton.

But it added that, due to Labour’s cuts, Parish Councils may soon be left with no other option but to charge residents significantly more through their Council Tax precept at the same time as having to reduce service levels to a minimum.

Commenting on Labour’s plans to defund Parish Councils, Maggie said: “With the Concurrent Grant scrapped, many Parish Councils will now face having to plug a black hole in their budgets.

“This burden will inevitably be passed on to local residents at a time when household budgets are coming under pressure, despite significant financial support from the Government.

“It may only be a few short months since Labour returned to office, but their mask has already slipped, and what we will inevitably see now is large tax increases to pay for fewer and poorer services.

“I believe this should not have to be the case and so I want to urge all local residents to sign my open letter to Labour’s Council Leader calling on him to immediately reinstate the Concurrent Grant and to cease Labour’s attack on our Parish Councils and the local residents they so dutifully serve.” 

Supporting Maggie in her call for the Grant to be reinstated, Conservative Group Leader of Erewash Borough Council and Chairman of Sandiacre Parish Council, Cllr. Wayne Major said: “In office, the Conservatives ensured Erewash Borough Council returned to an eminently stronger financial position than when we inherited the authority from the previous Labour administration 20 years ago. 

“Yet Labour is now proposing to entirely withdraw the Concurrent Grant Funding from all Parish Councils across the Borough and demanding that they increase their proportion of the Council Tax precept.

“In effect, this will mean that residents will be charged twice for the same services - once for the parished area in which they live and once to subsidise service in the larger towns.

“I support Maggie in her campaign and will fight alongside her and fellow Conservative Councillors until the Concurrent Grant is reinstated.”

Cllr. Garry McCahill, Independent Chair of Stanton-by-Dale Parish Council added: “As a Parish Council made up of local residents, we are immensely proud of the services we provide to our community, and so the withdrawal of the Concurrent Grant by Labour-controlled Erewash Borough Council comes as a huge blow.

“This decision means that we will need to look closely at our budget and there will no doubt be some tough decision needing to be made about the continued viability of the services we offer moving forward.” 

Residents can sign up to Maggie’s open letter to the Labour Leader of Erewash Borough Council by clicking here

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