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Southwark Labour slams Simon Hughes for defending local cuts as ‘fair’


27 February 2015
Simon Huges Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Bermondsey and Old Southwark has slammed Lib Dem MP Simon Hughes for saying government cuts to the local area are fair.

Cllr Neil Coyle, Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Bermondsey and Old Southwark, has hit out at Simon Hughes’ claim that Government cuts facing Southwark are fair, despite the council being one of the hardest hit in the country.

Southwark Labour’s cabinet member for finance wrote to the borough’s local MPs asking them to join the council in lobbying for a fairer local government settlement, after five years of consecutive cuts to government funding. Southwark council has faced cuts of almost £100 million since 2010, equating to nearly £700 for each household in the borough.
 
While Southwark’s Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Tessa Jowell have supported the council’s campaign, Lib Dem MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark Simon Hughes has said that he does “not believe that Southwark Council has been disproportionately impacted by changes to local government finance.”  
 
Simon Hughes insists that his constituency has not been “treated unfairly”, despite Southwark being the third hardest hit council in the country in terms of government cuts. Council leaders of all parties have criticised the scale of government cuts, which have disproportionately hit the most deprived boroughs. Southwark ranks as the 25th most deprived local authority in the country and has lost £155 in spending power for every household in the borough – the third worst cut of any local authority.
 
Labour’s parliamentary candidate and local councillor Neil Coyle said: 

“As a Southwark councillor I have fought for local residents against Government cuts to our borough. Simon Hughes should be standing up for Southwark and pushing his Government colleagues for fairer funding for his constituents, but instead he is defending cuts that have seen every household in Southwark lose £155 this year, while some Tory boroughs have actually seen increases in their spending power.” 

“Simon Hughes says he’s on the side of local residents, but he has proven time and again that he is really on the side of David Cameron and the Tories. Residents in Bermondsey and Old Southwark need an MP to stick up for our area – Simon Hughes has let people down.”


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