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Councils 'running on empty'

Councils 'running on empty'
Local government is “running on empty” and cannot take further cuts, a Conservative council leader has said.

Paul Carter, the head of Kent County Council, told Sky News' Murnaghan programme that further reductions could send councils “over the brink”.

“I think the tank is very much running on empty. I think that local government across the country should be congratulated on the way it’s adapted to running its front line services with 30% less money,” he said. “I think we’ve got to be very careful that we don’t send local government over the brink.

"You can demand so much of your workforce but if you get to ridiculous lengths you get to chaos.”

The Labour leader of Liverpool City Council, Joe Anderson, accused the Government of "telling lies" about the financial circumstances around councils.

Mr Anderson said there would be social unrest if budgets were reduced further. “I’m not a deficit denier, I believe that there should be austerity, but I believe there should be fairness … I believe there will be unrest, because it’s totally unfair.”

But the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, who will outline some recommendations for where councils can save money tomorrow, said there needed to be a change in the "attitude of mind" among council workers.

Green Box: Councils 'running on empty'Click to open

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Local Government ‘running on empty’

16/12/2012