The council leader has called on the Chancellor to "urgently review" the local authority's funding amid a £30m budget gap.

Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, of the Labour-run council, has written to Jeremy Hunt following the publication of its latest budget – which will see a £30m gap over the next three years.

Writing ahead of the government’s Spring Budget on Wednesday, March 6, Cllr O’Brien said the council will have no choice but to deplete reserves and cut services as it struggles to balance the books.

He added that the council has been hit by a "triple whammy" of inadequate funding, huge increases in costs and increasing demand for services, especially in adults’ and children’s social care which accounts for three quarters of the budget.

The letter comes after the council announced its “toughest budget yet” last month and announced it will use £15m from reserves and £7.5m in savings, efficiencies, and income generation to balance the budget for the 2024/2025 financial year.

The council voted to increase council tax by 2.99 per cent for general council services with a two per cent levy to be spent on social care.

This is the highest increase the council can make without a local referendum.

Cllr O’Brien says the council has been forced to make £150m in savings since 2010 representing 29 per cent cut in real terms spending power.

In his letter to the Chancellor, Cllr O’Brien said: “After our huge efforts over the years of managing real-term cuts to our funding, the only available options are to continue to deplete our reserves and to cut services – and we simply cannot go on like this.

“The funding disparity for Bury has always been unfair, but it is now unsustainable. The Institute for Fiscal Studies puts Bury in the bottom 20 per cent worst-funded councils.

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“We’re playing our part, by seeking to boost economic growth with our regeneration plans and investing in neighbourhood working to deliver an early intervention and prevention model.

“Our residents are doing their bit, by working with us to make life better across Bury by recycling more, becoming foster carers and volunteering. Alongside all these efforts we now need the government to give Bury a better funding deal.”

The letter also comes following the launch of the council’s Let’s Fix it Together Campaign, which included a petition calling for better government funding.

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Cllr O'Brien added: “While careful planning means we are still able to set a balanced budget for 2024/25 – who knows what will happen in future years if the government fails to act and doesn’t give Bury the fair deal it deserves.

“The Spring Budget is a chance to acknowledge the vital role that local government plays in places like Bury. I hope you will not let this opportunity go to waste.”

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesperson has previously said: “We recognise councils are facing challenges and that is why we recently announced an additional £600m support package for councils across England, increasing their overall funding for the upcoming financial year to £64.7bn – a 7.5 per cent increase in cash terms.

“Councils are responsible for their own finances and set council tax levels, but we have been clear they should be mindful of cost-of-living pressures. We continue to protect taxpayers from excessive council tax increases through referendum principles.”