Helen Morgan highlights council cuts in final Parliament speech before election

24 May 2024
Helen Morgan

Helen Morgan MP used her final debate in Parliament ahead of the general election to highlight the lack of funding for rural councils and the concerning impact this has had on services in Shropshire.

The North Shropshire MP led an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Hours after the announcement of a general election, Helen told the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, Simon Hoare, that Conservative cuts to the council’s budget have left people in Shropshire paying more council tax for reduced services.

The MP highlighted that poorer social care provision, unreliable bus services, recycling centre closures, and longer waits for SEN pupils to receive the support they need are all down to cuts to council funding.

Helen also warned the Minister about the potential closure of Whitchurch Civic Centre due to the council being unable to pay for the necessary repairs.

Helen Morgan, Liberal Democrat MP for North Shropshire, said afterwards, “People who live in rural areas like North Shropshire have been taken for granted by the Conservatives for too long

“Given the dangerous state of Shropshire Council’s finances, I am incredibly concerned about what might happen to vital public services across the county in the future.

“Community spaces like Whitchurch Civic Centre and recycling plants in Oswestry and Whitchurch are of huge benefit to local communities and ought to be protected, not cut.

“Council taxpayers in rural areas deserve the same value for money as any other resident in the country.”

In the debate which Helen Morgan led, she added, “Local government is most people’s experience of government, and it is the backbone of our communities.

“Shropshire Council had to find £50 million of cuts in the financial year that just ended, and it is saying that it will need to make a further £60 million of cuts in the coming year. That is an enormous cut, and it will affect everyone in North Shropshire, but it will affect vulnerable people the most, and that is my area of concern.

“One fifth of the population live in rural areas, but they are underperforming economically so we need to ensure that their local councils have the funding they need to provide regeneration and quality of life for well-deserving people who live in those beautiful parts of Britain.”

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