THE government’s nearly decade-long austerity policy has had a ‘catastrophic impact’ on Trafford, according to Council Leader Andrew Western.

Labour chief Western is among 36 signatories of a letter which claims austerity has disproportionately affected local authorities and had a ‘disastrous’ impact on services.

The letter stated that the stop-gaps which were once in place to prevent destitution have been stripped back.

It is estimated £5.8bn has been slashed from budgets since 2010, which has impacted most local authorities across the country, including Trafford.

The Local Government Association believes that councils will have lost 77 per cent of their budget by 2020.

“We believe that the huge increase in crime we have seen in recent years, decline in life expectancy and increase in foodbank usage, homelessness and rough sleeping are inevitable consequences of the destruction of the social contract between citizen and state,” the letter reads.

“We therefore call on government to reverse the disastrous policy of austerity, which has dominated thinking in the treasury since 2010 and has been disproportionately weighted against local authorities.”

Andrew Western and council leaders across the country set out their demands for an end to austerity.

They demanded: A needs-led approach to funding methodology for local government, recognising the differences in demand for services between different authorities in different geographies, as well as different available levels of income, for example, council tax and business rates collection.

They called for more freedom for authorities to set local taxes, retain revenue and allow the proceeds of growth to be kept locally.

The letter also raised concerns about the delivery of day-to-day services such as children in need of care, homelessness, those fleeing domestic abuse and violence and care for the elderly.

It also referenced concerns over housing in the rental sector, local infrastructure, the preservation of public green space and bin collections.