Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Doncaster mayor urged to 'stand up' to government cuts

A petition has been submitted calling for the mayor of Doncaster to "stand up to Westminster" over government-imposed budget cuts.

Trade union Unison handed over the 3,000-signature document as the town's council met to discuss its budget.

The Labour-run authority says it must save £109m over the next three years.

Unison's Melanie Onn said the mayor, Ros Jones, should be "standing up to the government and saying Doncaster can't handle this level of cuts".

The council's budget include plans to axe more than 1,200 jobs, close seven council-run care homes and reduce children's services.

'Unfair cuts'

Responding to Unison's petition demands, Mrs Jones said she had "already voiced her concern" to central government.

She added: "This is about the north-south divide, central government imposing massive reductions on us. But, as a responsible mayor, I need to put forward a budget.

"It will be Unison that needs to take this message to central government, but I am more than happy to support them with a letter saying I oppose these unfair cuts that are hitting the people of Doncaster."

Doncaster Council says government cuts account for £58m of the £109m it needs to save and the remaining £51m is needed to meet pay and price inflation, contracted costs and the cost of the growing demand for services.

The government has said it needs to impose budget cuts to help it try to reduce the budget deficit.

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