THE Chancellor’s Autumn Statement will signal less money and more cuts for vital front-line services.

That’s the pessimistic forecast of a Bury Council’s finance spokesman who says the statement means “more bad news for local government and more bad news for Bury Council.”

Speaking at last Wednesday’s full council meeting, Labour’s cabinet member for finance and resources, Cllr Tony Isherwood, pictured, said: “Local government was already facing cuts in funding of around 25 per cent in the first four years of this Con Dem coalition and the Autumn Statement simply made this worse, with the Chancellor taking a further two per cent off local government for 2014-15, meaning that a colossal £445 million will be stripped out of the amount that the Government contributes towards local services.

“Despite being only two months away from setting our budget, we still have no idea what Government grant we’ll be getting for 2013-14, we still don’t know precisely what the Government’s rules will be for the localisation of business rates and they haven’t even bothered to tell us what our rates base will be.”

Cllr Isherwood added: “This means that it is impossible to say what the effect of the additional two per cent cut will be in 2014-15 because we don’t yet know what the starting point for that year will be.”