'No, Prime Minister, austerity is not over in Northampton', say Labour politicians

Gareth Eales questioned how austerity can be ending if council budgets are set to be slashed by 36 per cent next year
Gareth Eales questioned how austerity can be ending if council budgets are set to be slashed by 36 per cent next year

Food banks are an essential service for some Northampton families and the needy face further hardship.

That is Labour's riposte to a Theresa May's declaration at the Conservative Party conference that austerity is at an end across the country.

Northampton politicians from the official opposition party have lined up to highlight the serious, deep-rooted issues affecting the people of Northampton that are unlikely to vanish if the Chancellor loosens his purse strings a little in the next budget.

Cllr Danielle Stone (Lab, Castle) the Labour Group Leader said: “How is austerity going to end for the people of Northampton? With NCC making the most draconian cuts in service that is going to plunge the most needy into further hardship, going to leave the vulnerable isolated and without help, going to leave children vulnerable to the enticements of crime at the pickings of professional gangs?

"I don’t see an end to austerity. I see more hardship."

Because of a severe shortage of affordable housing and large number of requests under homelessness legislation, Northampton has unprecedented numbers of people in emergency accommodation.

And in Northampton, there are 16,900 families claiming tax credits, which includes 29,900 children.

A Labour spokesman said food banks that didn’t exist 10 years ago "are now forming an essential service and are often the only means of food for some."

Councillor Gareth Eales (Lab, Spencer), Labour's parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, said “They say they are ending austerity yet they slash council budgets by £1.3
billion, that’s a 36 per cent cut to local government next year.

"This is going to be on top of the financial black hole that Northamptonshire County Council is already facing.

"So if anyone is thinking that austerity is ending for the people of Northampton then think again”