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Vicky McClure backs petition against Nottingham City Council cuts and calls on Government for immediate help

Vicky McClure is backing campaigners fighting for a better deal for Nottingham in the face of  devastating cuts to public services as the local authority looks for ways to reduce its huge budget deficit.

 

The Line of Duty and Trigger Point star is joining with campaigners calling on Westminster for immediate financial assistance for Nottingham City Council ahead of the budget decision meeting on Monday 4 March that would see the cuts confirmed.

 

Vicky said: “Nottingham is facing lots of struggles at the moment. We all want to see the city and its people thrive. I am extremely passionate about Nottingham and that is always down to the people that keep it running safely, with care and creativity.

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• Read more: Nottingham: Cuts to services will damage ‘fabric of the city’ says protesters

“There will be cuts to lunch clubs for children, activities for young people, libraries for local people, community protection officers who help to keep the city safe, maintenance of our streets and parks, investment in our theatres, galleries and museums that make our city so vibrant and care homes affecting our older generation. Nottingham deserves better. Nottingham is saying no to the cuts and we’re asking you to sign our petition.”

 

The ‘Resolve’ campaign is made up of arts and culture organisations, youth leaders, charities, community, environmental and volunteer groups from Nottingham drawn together by their shared alarm of the impact the cuts will have on the people of the city.

 

Resolve’s initial open letter to Nottingham City Council before the budget consultation closed put forward ways that the city could increase revenue and prevent cuts to services, such as a tourist tax and better managing the Council’s property portfolio which they say has been poorly managed.

 

A last ditch effort to stop the cuts will see a group representing Resolve handing a petition with more than 7,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street on Friday 1 March, and calling on MPs from all parties to hear their concerns.

 

They are Adam Pickering (LeftLion Magazine/Green Hustle); Mutsa Makaka (Shifting Your Mindset); Shoana Qureshi-Khan (Nottingham Counselling Service); Marcellus Baz (Switch Up); Matthew Chesney (BACKLIT) and Sarah Manton (Nottingham Open Spaces Forum).

 

Adam Pickering said: “The disastrous cuts proposed for Nottingham’s services are not the fault of local people – our city’s funding model is broken. That’s why we’re calling for urgent, no-strings financial assistance in the short-term, and real engagement for the long term about how the city is funded and governed.

 

“We are already in a desperate situation with rising destitution and homelessness. People are losing faith in politics, and further cuts will make matters worse. The Government should be listening to and working with local communities, but democracy in Nottingham has effectively been suspended. Our talented and local people and organisations are ready to do the work and help find solutions.”

 

Mutsa Makaka, Founder of charity Shifting Your Mindset, which will be directly affected by the cuts, says “The potential council cuts raise uncertainty for the future of our communities, especially for those already suffering the most hardship. While it’s heartening to witness the public support from Nottingham MPs and many Councillors on the petition, actions must speak louder than words.

 

“Our petition is a call for unity and constructive conversations with the Government. We aim to foster acknowledgment of the people’s concerns and advocate for the right decisions to benefit the communities of Nottingham. We appeal to the government for a collaborative approach that empowers people, ensuring we can work collectively towards the betterment of our community.”

Marcellus Baz BEM, Founder and CEO of community organisation Switch Up, added: “The proposed council cuts to our already exhausted and depleted frontline services will have a devastating impact on our communities, especially those from low socioeconomic backgrounds that are already teetering on the edge.

 

“We work on the frontline. Our communities have still not recovered from the effects of the pandemic, then they have been hit hard with the cost of living crisis, further cuts will have a catastrophic effect. This will see the gap that people are falling through widen further. The human impact is unthinkable.

 

“Currently crime rates are soaring, mental health services are depleted. We cannot afford to see services that support the vulnerable reduced or closed down when we need them the most. We call on the government to stand up, to support us, to give our communities a lifeline, and offer our young people the future they deserve.”

 

The campaigners point out that more than 5,000 people who responded to the Council’s online budget consultation are seemingly being disregarded with “unelected Government commissioners” now installed who will take control of the budget, which they say undermines local democratic processes.

 

The petition reads:

 

“Nottingham is ranked as one of the most deprived, least healthy local authority areas in the UK. We are deeply concerned at the proposed cuts to Nottingham City Council services, which disproportionately affect the most vulnerable in our community, as part of the ongoing Section 114 process.

 

“Financial losses from failed council ventures pale in comparison to £1bn in central budget reductions, reduced spending power due to inflation, and the increased demand for statutory services. None of this is the fault of the people of Nottingham, who will suffer most.

 

Despite the 5,000+ responses to the budget consultation, we understand it is likely that Government will hand down these service cuts as a condition of any financial assistance, undermining our local democratic processes.

“We call on the Government to provide immediate no-strings financial assistance to enable the Council, in partnership with local people and organisations, to find a sustainable way forward.”

 

Sign the petition: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/no-to-nottingham-cuts and share using Hashtag #NoNottmCuts

 

For campaign updates, go to www.resolvenottingham.org.uk

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