Tory run council set to abandon unitary status as Mayor claims “There is no money”

Conservative held Torbay council is deciding whether to relinquish unitary status to save its cash-strapped services.

Mayor Gordon Oliver, said: “We cannot survive beyond this next financial year. There is no money.

“I am not crying wolf. I never cry wolf. We are too small to be a unitary authority and continue to fund these services.”

Torbay, a town on the south coast of England became a unitary authority in 1998 but looks set to move under the control of Devon county council once again. Mayor Oliver said that from 2020 onwards the council would be forced to make up to £12m worth of cuts.

Adding: “The Government is not putting any money in, and we need to plan for that

“There is a realisation among the Conservative councillors that we cannot carry on as we are. We are struggling like hell.”

Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, and local MP Valerie Vaz, has urged for a proper debate to take place in parliament about the council.

Speaking in Commons, she said: “When can we have a debate on Torbay another council that is about to collapse?

“The Government seem to be too busy fighting among themselves to fight for this country.”

Torbay is one of several Conservative run councils facing uncertain times due to financial mismanagement. Earlier this year it was uncovered Northamptonshire county council was effectively bankrupt and did not have enough cash to fund services.

Shadows Communities and Local Government Secretary, Andrew Gwynne, said: “With another Tory Council running out of money, the Government needs to take responsibility for this failure.

“Ministers can’t hide from the truth any longer. Tory austerity is harming our local services. Our communities need a Labour Government that will resource our councils to be able to deliver these vital services.”


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