Between 2010 and 2016 funding to local government will have been reduced by a third and Wolverhampton will have received a cut of nearly 40% in real terms by 2014/2015. Councillor Lawrence said that national Government had cut far more from the budgets of councils such as Wolverhampton than more affluent areas of the country.
He said: "Projections for 2017 to 2018 suggest a difference of over £900 per head between the amount of the cuts in the least and worst affected places. With the Government committing to further cuts to local government and reform to welfare benefits, the poorest areas of the country are set to suffer even more."
Now Councillor Lawrence is now joining forces with 45 local authorities across the country, including neighbouring councils of Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell, Coventry and Stoke-on-Trent, to call for a national debate on how funding should be allocated more fairly.
Councillor Lawrence said: "The unfairness of Government cuts is causing considerable pain in the city as the council confronts a budget shortfall of £89 million having already sustained a budget reduction of £100 million in the past 5 years. We're facing growing demand for services from the most vulnerable in our city - older people and looked after children. The impact of the biggest changes in welfare for 60 years could lead to our communities being overwhelmed by cuts.
"As a result of cuts that have been unfairly targeted on Wolverhampton, all existing services will have to be reduced and we must cut our workforce by a fifth by April 2015. We must take these drastic steps in order to protect the city from the worst effects of austerity and to continue to win jobs and investment.
"We have no choice but to produce a balanced budget. But this petition strikes me as a legitimate way for us to press Government to end the unfairness of these unprecedented cuts.
"I would urge everyone who cares about Wolverhampton to sign the e-petition at Type=links;Linkid=2851;Title=HM Government e-petition;Target=_blank;
- released: Tuesday 8 October, 2013