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ANTI-CUTS TEAM TO FIGHT ON

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The local authority associations have decided to keep together the team set up last year to fight cuts to local gov...
The local authority associations have decided to keep together the team set up last year to fight cuts to local government spending, in an effort to pre-empt yet another government-imposed spending squeeze.

The campaign team was formed for a few months last year in the run-up to the Budget with funding of £60,000 to lead resistance to service cuts.

But the associations have now decided to keep the team together, with the same level of funding, to co-ordinate the lobbying on next year's spending round. It will be called the joint expenditure strategy group.

Chairman of the group, Association of County Councils' secretary Robin Wendt, said the team had been kept together to build on the successes of last year's campaign.

'It will run until the Local Government Association is in a position to take over,' he added.

The associations are busy drawing together information on key spending pressures for 1997-98, which will be made public before the end of April.

This is part of an attempt to influence key preliminary Budget talks in the spring between the Treasury and major spending departments.

In previous years the associations have not put their message on spending across until July.

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