Reaction as commissioners take control of Nottingham City Council

Nottingham's Old Market Square

Local political figures have been reacting to the news that Government commissioners are set to seize control of Nottingham City Council.

A statement from Nottingham’s Labour MPs, Nadia Whittome, Lilian Greenwood and Alex Norris, expressed “deep disappointment” at the decision, saying it “undermined local democracy”.

It added: “The government has already prevented elected councillors from setting next year’s budget – a budget that proposes drastic and devastating cuts unsupported by the council leadership.

Nadia Whittome MP

“We are extremely concerned at the impact of these cuts on a city which already faces amongst the highest levels of deprivation and destitution of any district in the country.

“Nottingham has suffered disproportionately from reductions in grant funding from Conservative governments, with a reduction in spending power of 28% since 2010, compared to an average of 19% amongst councils.

“Instead of giving further decision-making powers to those who are unaccountable to our constituents, we believe that the City Council should be provided with new, additional, emergency funding from central government to protect the essential services our constituents rely on.”

Opposition councillor Andrew Rule, who once led the Conservative group at the council, said: “The red rag to a bull would have been last Tuesday’s executive board where for the first time, you’d got the executive refusing to endorse the budget report that goes before the full council.

“Some would argue they did that to buy more time so they could find ways of mitigating some of the devastating cuts that are proposed, but I think the ship has sailed on that.

“Whilst it’s fair to say that Nottingham is like many other authorities with pressures on adult and children’s services, it’s also fair to say we’re an outlier in that whilst other authorities are able to rely on reserves, Nottingham’s have been used to correct the illegal spending of the Housing Revenue Account and the financial mismanagement of Robin Hood Energy. The chickens have now come home to roost on those points.”

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