Black Country Labour MPs tell Theresa May: We've had enough of austerity
Labour politicians in the West Midlands have called on Theresa May to bring the curtain down on austerity.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, more than 60 politicians including MPs Tom Watson, Emma Reynolds, Pat McFadden and Ian Austin, urged her to recognise the 'catastrophic impact that eight years of uninterrupted austerity' has had on the region.
The letter says: "Cuts have consequences and the people of the West Midlands have had enough."
It adds that the huge increase in crime in recent years, decline in life expectancy, increased foodbank usage and homelessness are 'inevitable consequences' of cuts to local authority budgets.
"We believe Government’s current path of austerity leads to infrastructural and social collapse," the letter says.
"We therefore call on Government to reverse the disastrous policy of austerity that has dominated thinking in the Treasury since 2010 and has been disproportionately weighted against local authorities.
"We also demand complete reform of Local Government funding to make councils more sustainable and more accountable to the local electorate.
"Local authorities should be given the power to set local taxes and retain local revenue, allowing the proceeds of growth to be kept locally."
Other signatories include Black Country council leaders Roger Lawrence, Pete Lowe and Steve Eling, as well as Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn also signed the letter. The Local Government Association believes that councils will have lost 77 per cent of their budget by 2020. Black Country councils have been some of the worst hit in the country, with Dudley Council's leader Councillor Lowe recently saying his authority is set to have lost out on £100 million by 2020.