Cash strapped councillors have made a last ditch effort to reverse their fortunes after agreeing to write to the government and ask it to reconsider a decision to slash their funding.

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Town hall bosses at Great Yarmouth Borough Council passed a motion to write to local government secretary Eric Pickles and ask him to “urgently reconsider” his department’s decision to hack their funding by 19pc - the largest cut to any authority in the country.

The Labour-led motion was passed by a thin majority of 19:18 after all Tory members voted against it, saying the council needed to “live in the real world”.

Through their letter to Mr Pickles the council will also ask that he reverse the “conditions” attached to the £1.8m efficiency support grant, which has been offered to the borough as an antidote to the budget cut but will only be awarded if it agrees to share management - a move Labour leaders pledged not to do when they were elected, sparking cries they are being blackmailed.

Council leader Trevor Wainwright tabled the motion with support from Hilary Wainwright, Brian Walker, Bernard Williamson and mayor Colleen Walker at a meeting last night (Thursday).

He said: “In May the electorate spoke and rejected the previous (Tory) administration’s ill thought out plan to share senior management with Breckland and South Holland. For that the residents of this borough are being punished.

“What we’re being told however, is that if we adhere to certain conditions laid down by the Department for Communities and Local Government we could, subject to presenting a compelling business case, receive a bribe of £1.8m.

“Out of 360 councils in the country only seven are being singled out for this type of treatment and having this enforced upon them, what’s fair about that?”

He had hoped all members would vote in favour but Tory councillors spoke out against the motion and Ron Hanton led the call for it to be rejected.

He rebuffed suggestions the council was being blackmailed and said as well as planning to share management, his party had been taking strides to make the authority more cost effective.

“We need to stop our political posturing and points grabbing and concentrate with important matter,” he added. “We need to make sure Great Yarmouth Borough Council is fit for purpose providing an excellent service at the lowest possible cost.”

The same motion will be tabled by Labour members at Norfolk County Council’s full meeting on Monday, and Mr Wainwright said he would be asking borough and district councils across the county to put forward similar calls as they “can see the damage being done” to Yarmouth through the funding cut.

11 comments

  • Wealth creators are here offshore industry is here full of wealth and expansion perhaps they should recruit from the local schools on apprenticeships give them something to strive. Change starts from an early age with a job to go into !

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    Mmmm!!

    Friday, January 11, 2013

  • Do people not realise that it has been 12 years of mis-management of a Conservative Council that has caused the problems. Labour were not in power, Labour unaware of what was going on, the tories done everything in secret... the list is endless. GY Mercury, please start getting a bit of balance into these comments!

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    Brian

    Friday, January 11, 2013

  • Only a 19% cut, sounds like the council got off lightly considering there mis-management. At some point one wonders if GY would actually be able to contribute some funding generated from local business back into the central government account or is the plan to beg forever?

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    Paul Morley

    Friday, January 11, 2013

  • Do people not realise that it has been 12 years of mis-management of a Conservative Council that has caused the problems. Labour were not in power, Labour unaware of what was going on, the tories done everything in secret... the list is endless. GY Mercury, please start getting a bit of balance into these comments!

    Report this comment

    Brian

    Friday, January 11, 2013

  • Clear the rot get some real people to manage the borough. All to comfortable to let it carry on the same old way this town will never change.

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    Mmmm!!

    Friday, January 11, 2013

  • As Eric Pickles said in the EDP in 2011, "Good luck on that".

    Report this comment

    fester1902

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • Tory members voted against it, saying the council needed to “live in the real world”. What a cheek they have considering they are going to ask for a 32% pay increase and a increase to their expenses They are theones that are not living in a real world TAKE NOTE Brandon Lewis as you are on your way out along with the rest of the Tory Lib Mp's

    Report this comment

    Dave

    Friday, January 11, 2013

  • Too many husband and wife teams for councillors.Nepotism rules yay! Hold your nose,this stinks.

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    wes1975

    Saturday, January 12, 2013

  • The Pickles Tax on Great Yarmouth amounts to a 39% cumulative tax over 2 years.This is what the people of Great Yarmouth will pay which is why he must listen to Cllr Wainwright.Unless the government relents,Yarmouth is facing social Armageddon with the attack not on poverty but against the poor.

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    Peter Watson

    Friday, January 11, 2013

  • I really cannot believe what the Conservatives in Great Yarmouth are both doing and trying to do to this town, they are trying to take the Great out of Great Yarmouth. Don't worry though, Sister Julian of Norwich coined the phrase "All will be well" That starts in 115 days when the electorate of Great Yarmouth start to get rid of the badness at the County Council Elections. There are whispers on the grapevine there is a safe seat for Westminster at Mid Bedfordshire. Brandon Lewis promotes buying local, when is he ever local? He even moved out of the decaying town centre to go to a back street in Gorleston. I wouldn't mind betting he will come back and say he was saving money for the tax payer.

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    Brian

    Friday, January 11, 2013

  • GYBC need some guidance as to how to spend their money more wisely. Just look at the Outer Harbour debacle. We may as well have thrown our money into the north sea for all the good it has done the Borough. Broken promise after broken promise. If we didn`t have so many people reliant on benefits in the Borough we wouldn`t be so strapped for cash. We need wealth creators not problem families.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Friday, January 11, 2013

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