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Hilary Benn MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, responding to a report by the Local Government Association that services could be cut if councils do not get an immediate injection of money, said:

“This report shows that Eric Pickles is presiding over a potential collapse in council finances. Local authorities already face huge pressures in funding elderly care and these will only grow.

“Ed Miliband initiated cross party talks on adult social care because we have to build a cross-party consensus on how to fund, fairly and sustainably, a better system of care and support. If funding for our care system is not sustainable, this will not only mean a bad deal for those who need care and their families, but will also mean communities face the potential loss of services like libraries and sports centres.

“It is time Mr Pickles stopped lecturing councils and started helping them.”

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