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Lancashire faces 'Perfect Storm' of Service Cuts, says Council Candidate


Matthew Whittaker, Labour County Council Candidate for Lancaster Rural East
Matthew Whittaker, Labour County Council Candidate for Lancaster Rural East
Chris Satori


Lancashire is facing a 'perfect storm' of budget and service cuts according to Matthew Whittaker, who is standing as the Labour Party candidate for Lancaster Rural East in the Lancashire County Council elections this Thursday.

Cuts to public transport and highway maintenance have had a particularly hard effect on rural constituents, and Matthew is deeply concerned that further cuts resulting from the current Conservative government's austerity policies will impact the area even harder. 

He said:

"On May 4th, we face really big choices but the primary one is that Lancashire County Council has to make £262m in cuts between now and 2021 - on top of the 62% of budget cuts already made. 

"It is vitally important that Labour maintain our control of the Council.  The unfortunate truth is that there is no easy way to balance the cuts to come and the decline in public provision.  We are facing a 'perfect storm' of crises in our everyday lives - in the NHS, Social Care and Education to name but three; the fabric of our society is suffering. 

"We need a Labour County Council to meet these challenges and ensure that the government‑inspired cuts are dealt with in a way that reduces their impact on our communities - caring for children, the sick and injured, frail elderly people and all of us whose daily lives are under threat."

Matthew works for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, building forest schools infrastructure in primary schools around the North West.  His work has given him ample opportunities to see the impact of cuts on rural areas first-hand.   He told Virtual-Lancaster that his priorities for the constituency are:

  • Protecting our services and our communities.  
  • To try (where practicable) to reinstate regular bus services, so that young and old people are not isolated.
  • Give attention to development, particularly in rural areas, so that it fulfils what the community needs, not what developers want.
  • Protecting our schools, they need properly funding so ‘no child is left behind’.

You can find out more about Matthew on his Matthew Whittaker for Lancaster Rural East facebook page. 

Lancaster Rural East division contains some of Lancashire's most lovely rural landscapes. It extends roughly from the M6, including Halton, Caton, much of the Lune Valley and Leck Fell in the north, Galgate in the south, and east across Leck Fell, Tatham, Over-Wyresdale and the Forest of Bowland.