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Keir Starmer says he has no ‘magic wand’ to give Nottingham City Council more money

Keir Starmer says he has no ‘magic wand’ to give Nottingham City Council more money

Keir Starmer has explained why he will not give more money to Nottingham City Council if he becomes Prime Minister, despite saying people have a “right” to the services now being cut in the city. The Labour Party leader says he would be repeating Liz Truss’s economic mistakes if he promised more money to cash-strapped councils like Nottingham.

Labour says other reforms it would make to local government would ease the pressures, but Sir Keir told local reporters he had no “magic wand” for short-term solutions. Nottingham is staring down the barrel of library closures and other service cuts across the city as part of brutal budget measures passed by the city council in March, months after it effectively went bankrupt.




The Labour-run council continues to face multi-million pound funding shortfalls in the coming years and, despite its own mistakes, notably at Robin Hood Energy, the authority says funding cuts since 2010 have had a much bigger impact. The council’s core spending power has been cut by 34% since the 2010/11 financial year when adjusted for inflation, falling from £514.1m to £342.1m in 2023/24.

Should Nottingham City Council have managed its finances better over the past 10 years? Let us know here

It is also having to rely more heavily on council tax increases and the authority has already said it would be “prudent” to consider tax rises above the current 5% cap next year. However, speaking during a visit to Hucknall Town FC about his message of change, Sir Keir confirmed that councils would not receive increased funding from a Labour government in the short term.

Asked why, the Labour leader told Nottinghamshire Live: “The Tories have done a lot of damage to the economy and we learned from Liz Truss what happens if you make unfunded commitments, in her case tax cuts, but so does spending.

“Ultimately it is working people who pay the price, with higher prices and higher mortgages.” Sir Keir said banning no-fault evictions to ease pressure on Nottingham City Council’s homelessness team would be one way his government could ease the pressure.

The pledge comes as the council pauses its housing advertising to clear out the hundreds of homeless families currently stuck in hotels and B&Bs across the city. Sir Keir also said he would introduce multi-year funding deals, so councils like Nottingham know how much government money they will receive over several years rather than every 12 months, as is currently the case.