Town halls pay heaviest toll on Chancellor's 'Judgment Day'

22nd October 2010 at 01:00

Town halls emerged as the biggest education losers in the Coalition's austerity drive, as Chancellor George Osborne announced that councils will be hit by a massive 28 per cent reduction in local authority budgets.

The amount of money councils receive from central Government will be slashed by 7.1 per cent from April. Baroness Margaret Eaton, chairman of the Local Government Association, said: "This spending review will hit councils and the residents they serve very hard and will inevitably lead to cuts at the front line."

As The TES reported last week, councils up and down the country had either made, or were planning for, redundancies in their central education services.

Areas such as educational psychology services, education welfare departments and school improvement teams are all likely to go following the cuts.

Last week, teaching union the NUT revealed research showing that 80 per cent of local authorities are planning redundancies in their education teams. NUT general secretary Christine Blower said Wednesday's announcement reinforced her concerns.

"The cuts announced in the Government's spending review are a retrograde step and will have a devastating impact on vital public services, including education," she said. "The Government may talk about protecting schools, but schools are not protected and nor are local authorities.

"Attacks are already being made on additional education funding outside of the core schools budget, with vital front-line services to schools already under threat. There will be a total real reduction in the education department's spending of 3 per cent by 201415."

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