The leader of City of York Council said a general election should be called if the Government cannot ‘deliver a fair deal’ for the city.

In an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt ahead of tomorrow’s (November 22) Autumn Statement, Councillor Claire Douglas said local residents have been left ‘short-changed’ by the national administration.

The cross-party Local Government Association (LGA) has also submitted its own letter to the Chancellor requesting that the Government ‘recognise there are some pressures that cannot wait as many councils are struggling to meet needs and still balance their budgets'.

Cllr Douglas said: “Government funding cuts have been unfairly targeted at areas like York for over a decade.

“The Conservative government has cut funding to our area meaning that by 2023, we are losing £55 million annually in real terms since 2010, which is equivalent to a 66 per cent reduction in the funding we received from the last Labour government.

“Underfunded pressures are pushing council finances to the brink.

“Local family finances are still trying to recover from the Government’s disastrous decisions that crashed our economy.”


Concluding the letter to the Chancellor, Cllr Douglas writes: "If you cannot deliver a fair deal for York, then the Prime Minister should call a general election and give local people the chance to vote for a Labour government that will give Britain its future back." 

In the Autumn Statement the Government updates the House of Commons on the state of the economy and at times, announces tax and spending decisions.

The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR), the independent public finances forecaster, publishes its economic and fiscal outlook on the same day.

The Chancellor responds to the OBR’s forecasts during the speech.

Cllr Douglas’ letter says York is the lowest funded unitary/upper tier council area in the country when combining public funding for education, health, police and the local authority.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), in an August 2023 report, estimated that in the financial year to end March 2023, York had the lowest total funding for the NHS, schools, local government, police and public health per person at £3,640 per person.

It estimated that Blackpool received the most funding at £5,650 per person – 55 per cent more.

Other areas addressed in what the city’s Labour Group said is a ‘demand’ to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt include children’s services, adult care, a £190 million requirement to address the state of York’s roads and homelessness costs.

In September of this year, a council report predicted an overspend of £11.4m in the financial year to the end of March 2024 without ‘immediate action’ to reduce outgoings.