Row over four years of funding

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COUNCILLORS have accepted a four-year deal by the government to fund services, despite fears Portsmouth has signed up to yet more savage cuts.

Whitehall has offered the city funding worth £26.9m in 2017/2018, but that would plummet to £16.3m by the end of the decade.

Both the Lib Dems and Labour voiced concerns about signing up but the Tories and Ukip members said more long-term decisions needed to be made.

Speaking at the city’s full council meeting, Lib Dem leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘It’s wrong to tie our hands to a four-year deal.

‘It’s foolish to tie the hands of people in the future to £10m of cuts down the line.’

Labour group leader, Cllr Stephen Morgan, called for Tory leader Cllr Donna Jones to continue lobbying the government and said it was concerning it would be business rates in future that largely prop up public services.

Tory deputy council leader, Cllr Luke Stubbs, said: ‘We have had discussions as to what this means in terms of the commitment given to us by government. But it still looks like the best thing to do.’

Independent and ex-Labour councillor John Ferrett warned it would be tough for councils ‘over the next five to 10 years’ because of the EU Brexit vote.